Mazargues is a district of Marseille which has kept all the characteristics and charm of a Provençal village. Only steps away from the Calanques, Mazargues revels in the fresh sea breeze of the Mediterranean.
For many years, Mazargues was separated from Marseille by a long avenue bordered by villas and large country homes. Madame de Sévigné said, when speaking of this haven of peace – “Mazargues is a little village nestled between Marseille and the Calanques. The air is so pure and the countryside so vast that one often meets people over the age of 100!”
Amongst the many large homes along the boulevard Michelet, once lived Napoléon’s fiancée Désiré Clary who was to become the Queen of Norway. As well, the King of Spain lived in exile there, on a splendid estate covered with a vast pine forest. Today, the property bears his name.
It is in Mazargues, in the Massif of the Calanques, where a fresh water source, from deep with the rocks, flows forth. So pure is the water from this source, they granted it the name “Ivory Fountain”.
In 600 BC, the Saliens inhabited what we know today as Mazargues. It was precisely in this village where a grand feast was organized to receive the Greek who had been chased out of Phoenicia by the Persians.
Instead of entering into an endless war with these new invaders, the King of Nann opted for an alliance of peace. The King gave his daughter, Gyptis, up for marriage to Protis, the leader of the Phoenicians. This is how some justify the statement that Marseille was founded by the Greek – a story which is completely false as there were already people living in the region before the arrival of the Greek.
Mazargues continued to grow. It was initially a fishing village and then branched out into farming until the neighbouring city of Marseille swelled. Today, Mazargues remains a village where one can enjoy the quality of seaside living and the song of the cicada.
Concernant les calanques, à lire absolument
le livre le plus complet, véritable bible du sujet:
MYSTERES ET HISTOIRES DES CALANQUES
(promenades, plongées, recettes, lexique etc…)
éditions Autres Temps