May 30, 2016

Squeaky Clean Savon de Marseille

Squeaky Clean Savon de Marseille

A mixture of seawater, alkaline solution and fat Documented use as far back as 2800 BC in Ancient Babylon A carved “recipe” found on a stone slab from 2200 BC The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all used it Cooked for 8 days in a cauldron, dried for 2 days in a mould Latin word Sapo (more…)

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May 26, 2014

Longing for Marseille’s Palais Longchamp

Longing for Marseille’s Palais Longchamp

Marseille has managed to improve its image in the last few years, from seedy French port to European Cultural Capital in 2013. A financial infusion of several hundred million Euros did a lot for cleaning up the heart of the tourist area and expanding the city’s museums. The last major infrastructure project of this magnitude in Marseille was the post WWII reconstruction of the Vieux Port and le Panier district. Marseille’s cultural transformation has been significant, including the recently renovated Palais Longchamp home of two galleries the Natural History Museum and the Musée des Beaux-Arts. (more…)

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May 19, 2014

The Next Era for Marseille’s Fort Saint Jean

The Next Era for Marseille’s Fort Saint Jean

Salty cobalt-blue waters of the Mediterranean slip into the Port of Marseille under the careful watch of two stoic limestone sentries, Fort Saint-Jean and Fort Saint-Nicholas. In 1660, King Louis XIV ordered the construction of Fort Saint-Nicholas and the reinforcement of existing structures at Fort Saint-Jean. The justification for these monumental building projects was to improve the defense capabilities of the old port. The reality was likely more a show of military force to encourage calm among Marseille’s rebellious citizens than against the threat of external attack, the forts’ cannons faced the city. (more…)

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June 10, 2013

Marseille France All Dressed Up

Marseille France All Dressed Up

The maze of construction hoarding is gone. Vehicle congestion is a mere shadow of its former chaos. As Cultural Capital of the year, Marseille is ready to welcome the world this summer. The exact value of total funds dispensed for urban infrastructure projects, new artistic exhibition space, and other enhancement work would require a forensic accountant. The results of this massive undertaking are changing Marseille’s scruffy image and vastly improving the previously underwhelming waterfront. Here are some of the highlights: (more…)

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