Les gîtes du Panier

The Panier district

A short history of Marseille, the Panier district and Place des 13 cantons

According to legend: On a beautiful sunny morning of the year 600 BC Jesus Christ, Protis the leader of the Greek sailors docked on the shores of Lacydon (present-day Old Port) the largest creek in Marseille. Everything was blue, the sky clear and bright, the sea dark and deep, A strong wind that will be called later « Mistral » blows and the Greek crew from the city of Phocea plans to settle in this landscape majestic.

On both sides of the cove, two hills rise, one to the higher south will be used to build in 1860 the basilica of Our Lady of the Guard, the other north is already inhabited and will be  » Cart « . Upon their arrival, a great feast brings together on the current place of Lenche (future Greek agora) the Ligurian warriors commanded by King Nunn who wants to marry his daughter. In this barbarian tribe, the custom was that when the king felt too old to fight, he would organize a grand banquet gathering all his men, and his daughter would choose one of them as a husband who would become the king. To mark her choice, Gyptis Nunn’s daughter had to hand the cup of wine to the chosen of her heart! Without hesitation, Gyptis proposes then the cut to Protis the Greek chief who accepts it and thus becomes the king of the Ligurians, It is the alliance of the Marseilles with the foreigner, tradition of hospitality of the city, Marseilles was born, The stranger who arrives in Marseilles becomes the king of the city.

This episode of the foundation took place on the slope of the hill that can monitor all arrivals of foreign boats in the creek, The Basket will remain until the reign of Louis XIV the only district of Marseille, The walls close the city around this hill and the pass that gives access to the port is closed by a large chain stretched every night connecting the two banks. In this protected area, life is organized for centuries around nautical activities, fishing, travel and all trades of the sea: docking, repair of sails, shipbuilding, portafix, auffiers, fish vendors, sailors etc … Louis XIV who was suspicious of the rebellious character of the Marseilles built two forts: Saint John to the North and Saint Nicolas to the South whose guns could turn against the city in case of rebellion.

It is in the eighteenth century that the main monuments of the district of the basket are erected:
The old Charité hospice for indigent patients, the Hôtel de Cabre, the Hôtel Dieu, hospital transformed today into a luxury hotel, the diamond house and the Hôtel de Ville on the bank, Most conceived or realized by Pierre Puget , child of the Panier, The church Saint Laurent is anterior, it is the oldest church of Marseilles and its Romanesque and stripped style is a model of medieval architecture.

The origin of the name « Basket » is controversial but the most accepted version is that there was in the Middle Ages an inn that bore this name on a square in the neighborhood, Casanova quotes in his memories, The Basket is famous in the world. French imagination to be a place of perdition where the Marseilles underworld reigned supreme, Francis the Belgian was born there as well as Jacky the Mat and very many thugs, A time the Basket was named « the reserved area » because it sheltered many Pass hotels frequented by all the sailors of the world who stopped at Marseilles. André Suarés, a child of Marseilles, banishes this enclave since 1863 and on a prefectural decision to « venal love » in other words to prostitution and to all the shops busy, The district was largely destroyed by the Germans explosive in 1943 because it gathered many resistant that one could not catch. It remains today only the upper part of the hill around the steeple of Accoules and the place of mills.

The Panier district includes many places where the inhabitants used to meet in the evening and « fresh ». One of the most famous is the place of the 13 cantons, Its name comes from an inn held by a Swiss in the Middle Ages and as there were 13 cantons in Switzerland, this name was given to the place. But when the Swiss disappeared, the Marseillais ignored the origin of the appellation and as they spoke Provençal, they transformed the word « cantons » into « cantoun » which means « corners » in French. And even if there are not 13 corners in the square, the bar that is there took the name of « bar of the 13 corners ». This bar will become famous later by serving as a model for the « Mistral bar » of the series « More beautiful life » and today still the inhabitants of the Cart go to the 13 corners and not instead of the 13 cantons.

Rich of all this history, we wanted to create for our visitors authentic gites on this place, They were decorated around the theme of the cinema which inspired so many directors.

Our lodgings take again the 3 great themes of the Marseilles cinema :

The 1930s

all the great movies of the child of Marseille Marcel Pagnol, Marius, Caesar, Fanny etc … all the great Provencal actors Fernandel, Raimu, Andrex etc …. The dominant color is the sepia brown of the old film reels. You can drink a pastis on the small terrace and feel a little Marseille. We named this cottage « Panier 1930 »

The 1970s

the movies around the French connection, the bad boys, the underworld etc … and the big actors Delon and Belmondo who made mythical « Borsalino » turned on the place of the 13 cantons; The elders of the Panier played roles of extras. Henri Verneuil, a child of Armenian immigration, lived all his childhood and his youth in Marseille. The dominant colors of this cottage are black and white. We named it « Panier 1970 » you will feel immersed in this naughty Marseille.

The 2000s

the series « Plus Belle la vie ». Since 2004, the famous television series brings together 5 million viewers each evening around the adventures of the inhabitants of the Mistral district and its bar, directly inspired by the Panier, the place of the 13 cantons and the bar of the 13 corners. Formerly there was the official shop Plus belle la vie in the square but looking for good you will find several clues that will remind you the sets of the soap opera. In this cottage named « Panier 2000 », you will discover a magnificent fresco of the Mistral bar and of course references to all the great football players in Marseille: Papin, Zidane etc …. The dominant colors of the cottage are orange and blue sky , the color of the Marseille cross and the jersey of the Olympique de Marseille. And why not enjoy your stay in Marseille to go to an OM match at the velodrome?

We wanted to make you discover by these few anecdotes of the little history of Marseille the rich past of our city and make you feel that for us, you are today « Protis » the king of Marseille.

Useful information :

How to come ?

From the station, take metro 2, direction Bougainville, get off at Joliette station, two stops, at the exit of the metro you are on the rue de la République, take the south-east direction and turn on your right to take the street of the Bishopric. Walk about 10 minutes and after the police station on your left you will find some steps that will take you to the Place des 1 « Cantons where are your home.

To move, to park :

You will be housed in the heart of Marseille and will find nearby all means of transport (tram, bus, metro)
Parking at the Town Hall and Phocéens Parking.
There are also platforms for exchanges between individuals, some examples :

Have to do :

Visit the unmissable Mucem, First major national museum dedicated to the Mediterranean, a Mecca of architecture and heritage, the Mucem is a cultural city open to the sea.
Cathedral of the Major who stands proudly from the docks as the first thing of Marseille that sailors see on their arrival.
The Center de la Vieille Charité gathers several multi-cultural structures in Marseille: museums, associations, schools, … and offers temporary exhibitions and activities throughout the year.
Stroll on the Canebière, impossible to visit the Phocaean city without passing by the famous avenue, which connects the Old Port with the church of the Reformed on 1 km then to visit the museum of History and the garden of the Vestiges of Marseilles,
On the Old Port: Departure from all the sea trips to the castle of If, the Frioul Islands, the creeks and also enjoy an unusual ride at sea with our partner Localanque.

Restaurants :

Chez Etienne Institution Marseillaise, Setting and atypical neighborhood No map a single menu at home with pizz ‘, green salad with garlic, supions, rib of beef, potato.
The Miramar Gourmet Restaurant and Founding member of the Bouillabaisse Charter, the Miramar is ideally located on the Old Port.
Have a drink at the Bar des 13 Coins, on the square, which inspired the Bar du Mistral in the famous television series of France3.

To go shopping :

Carrefour market avenue Robert Schuman, Franprix at 9 Rue Colbert. Bakery Les Délices de l’Evéché at 31, rue de l’Evéché

Your luggage :

It is difficult for us to keep a baggage you will have to see directly with us the day of your arrival.
By cons, if it was not possible there are instructions at the station.