An open-air museum
To enjoy this mythical district, the best way is to stroll until you get lost in the narrow streets. The conviviality and the soft atmosphere which reign there are pleasant. Between small café terraces, colorful street-art facades, and small designer boutiques, you won’t know where to turn: it’s a real open-air museum ! If you need good physical shape to go up and down the stairs, the effort will be rewarded by the Mediterranean spontaneity of the inhabitants of this popular district, and the breathtaking view of the big Blue.
The oldest district of Marseille
600 years before Christ, Massalia was born in place of the current Panier. If the Greeks chose this place, it is for its privileged position in height and close to the sea. They then settled near the butte St Laurent, the Greek city then developed in the direction of the butte des Moulins. On the Place de Lenche, was the Agora and on the Butte des Moulins the acropolis dedicated to Athena. In the Middle Ages, the city continues to develop, but this time on the other side of the Port. In the 12th century a hospital was founded by the Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit and later became the Hôtel-Dieu. In 1745, the construction of a large hospice, the Vieille-Charité, was completed. In the 19th century and early 20th century, the Panier district was a rather unhealthy area and known for its prostitution and its bad reputation. In 1943, during the Second World War, the Germans decided to raze the district which constituted a refuge for the resistance fighters, more than 30,000 people were expelled and thousands arrested. 1500 buildings were destroyed between January 22 and 24, 1943. Le Panier has long kept its bad reputation. At the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century, Le Panier underwent renovation and urban redevelopment. It is now completely renovated and hosts artists’ studios, shops, designers… It has become one of the essential areas in Marseille!
The district of artists
In the Panier district, every street corner is a museum in itself. The walls are covered with works of Street art, each more delirious than the other. Some frescoes invite contemplation while others will make you smile. Le Panier is an open-air museum: its narrow streets, its cultural places, its craftsmen and creators… the three hills of Le Panier never cease to amaze us. Let yourself be carried away by the popular magic of this unmissable district of the city of Marseille.