About Jardin des Vestiges
The Jardin des Vestiges is an archaeological site in Marseille housing the remains of this city’s ancient Greek then Roman port.
Jardin des Vestiges history
Discovered during building works carried out in the 1960’s, the ruins of Jardin des Vestiges have been excavated and include large sections of walls, gates and the remnants of warehouses and the general infrastructure of the old port.
Periods of time intermingle from the ancient to the medieval, with the earliest find dating back to 600 BC. There are trilingual panels at the site (in English, French and Italian), which make understanding the different ruins a more accessible experience.
In its heyday, this once thriving Greek port would have extended further east and been bustling with traders, unloading goods. The wharves of this ancient port are still visible and said to date back to Roman times.
Many of the finds excavated at Jardin des Vestiges, such as the remains of a 3rd century AD ship, can now be seen at the adjacent Marseille History Museum. A visit to one usually includes the other, particularly as the entry fee is for both.
Jardin des Vestiges today
Located just behind Centre Bourse shopping mall and just a few kilometers from the Old Port, this archaeological site loaded with history and symbolic plants is a very pleasant place for a break in the Marseille.
Containing Greek and Roman relics, as well as sections of Marseille’s old city walls and monuments that date from the 2nd-3rd century BC, the site is well laid out, perfect for a nice walk or lunch-time picnic. However, it is only accessible if you have paid for entry into the Marseille History Museum, which houses the objects found during the excavations.
Getting to Jardin des Vestiges
The address of the site is 1 Passage Belsunce, Marseille 13001, France. Located right next to the Marseille History Museum, visitors ho have travelled by car can park right next to the site in Centre-Bourse Parking.
If travelling via the subway, take line 1 to either Vieux-Port or Colbert or line 2 to Noailles. Tram number 2 will take you right outside the museum if you exit at stop Belsunce-Alcazar.
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