Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.
767
MARSEILLES


above crypts dating mainly from the nth century but also embodying architecture of the Carolingian period and of the early centuries of the Christian era. Traditionrelates that St Lazarus inhabited the catacombs under St Victor; and the black image of the Virgin, still preserved there, is popularly attributed to St Luke. The spire, which is the only relic of the ancient church of Accoules, marks the centre of Old Marseilles. At its foot are a “ calvary ” and a curious underground chapel in rock work, both modern. Notre-Dame du Mont Carmel, also in the old town, occupies the place of what was the citadel of the Massaliots when they were besieged by Julius Caesar. Of the civil buildings of the city, the prefecture, one of the finest in France, the Palais de justice, in front of which is the statue of the advocate Antoine Berryer (1790-1868) and the Exchange, all date from the latter half of the 10th century. The Exchange, built at the expense of the Chamber of Commerce includes the spacious hall of that institution with its fine mural paintings and gilding. The hotel-de-ville (17th century) stands on the northern quay of the old harbour. All these buildings are surpassed by the Palais Longchamp (1862-1870), situated in the north-east of the town at the end of the Boulevard Longchamp. The centre of the building is occupied by a monumental chateau d'eau (reservoir). Colonnades branch off from this, uniting it on the left to the picture gallery, with a fine collection of ancient and modern works, and on the right to the natural history museum, remarkable for its conchological department and collection of ammonites. In front are ornamental grounds; behind are extensive zoological gardens, with the astronomical observatory. The museum of antiquities is established in the Chateau Borély (1766-1778) in a fine park at the end of the Prado. It includes a Phoenician collection (containing the remains that support the hypothesis of the Phoenician origin of Marseilles), an Egyptian collection, numerous Greek, Latin, and Christian inscriptions in stone, &c. A special building within the city contains the school of art with a valuable library and a collection of medals and coins annexed to it. The city also has a colonial museum and a laboratory of marine zoology. The triumphal arch of Aix, originally dedicated to the victors of the Trocadéro, was in 1830 appropriated to the conquests of the empire.

The canal de Marseille, constructed from 1837 to 1848, which has metamorphosed the town and its arid surroundings by bringing to them the waters of the Durance, leaves the river opposite Pertuis. It has a length of Q7 miles (including its four main branches) of which 13 are underground, and irrigates some 7500 acres. After crossing the valley of the Arc, between Aix and Rognac, by the magnificent aqueduct of Roquefavour, it purifies its waters, charged with ooze, in the basins of Réaltort. It draws about 2200 gallons of water per second from the Durance, supplies 2450 horse-power to works in the vicinity of Marseilles, and ensures a good water-supply and efficient sanitation to the city.

Marseilles is the headquarters of the XV. army corps and the seat of a bishop and a prefect. It has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a chamber of commerce, a board of trade arbitration, and a branch of the Bank of France. The educational institutions include a faculty of science, a school of medicine and pharmacy, and a faculty (faculté fibre) of law, these three forming part of the university of Aix-Marseille; lycées for boys and girls, a conservatoire of music, a school of fine art, a higher school of commerce, a school for ships' boys, a school of navigation and industrial schools for both sexes. Trade and I ndustry.—Marseilles is the western emporium for the Levant trade and the French gate of the Far East. It suffers, however, from the competition of Genoa, which is linked with the Rhine basin by the Simplon and St Gotthard railway routes, and from lack of communication with the inland waterways of France. In January 1902 the chamber of deputies voted £3,656,000 for the construction of a canal from Marseilles to the Rhone at Arles. This scheme was designed to overcome the difficulties of egress from the Rhone and to make the city the natural outlet of the rich Rhone basin. Much of the activity of the port is due to the demand for raw material created by the industries of Marseilles itself. The imports include raw silk, sesame, ground-nuts and other oil-producing! !

fruits and seeds largely used in the soap manufacture, cereals and Hour, wool, hides and skins, olive and other oils, raw cotton, sheep and other livestock, woven goods, table fruit, wine, potatoes and dry vegetables, lead, cocoon silk, coffee, coal, timber. The total value of imports was £64,189,000 in 1907, an increase of £18,000,000 in the preceding decade. The exports, of which the total value was £52,90I, O0O (an increase of £2I, 000,000 in the decade) included cotton fabrics, silk fabrics, cereals and Hour, hides and skins, wool fabrics, worked skins, olive and other oils, chemical products, wine, refined sugar, raw cotton, wool, coal, building-material, machinery and pottery.

The port is the centre for numerous lines of steamers, of which the chief are the Messageries Maritimes, which ply to the eastern Mediterranean, the east coast of Africa, Australia, India, Indo-China, Havre and London, and the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, who se vessels run to Algiers, Tunis, Malta, Corsica, Morocco and the Antilles. In addition many important foreign lines call at the port, among them being the P. and O., the Orient, the North German Lloyd, and the German East Africa lines.

Marseilles has five chief railway stations, two of which serve the new harbours, while one is alongside the old port; the city is on the main line of the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée railway from the Riviera and Toulon to Paris via Arles, Avignon and Lyons, another less important line connecting it with Aix.

Soap-making, introduced in antiquity from Savona and Genoa, is carried on in upwards of fifty factories. These utilize the products of the oil-distilleries and of the chemical works, the latter being also an important adjunct to the manufacture of candles, another leading industry. A large quantity of iron, copper and other ores is smelte in the blast-furnaces of Saint Louis in the vicinity and in other foundries, and the Mediterranean Engineering Company and other companies have large workshops for the construction or repair of marine steam-engines and every branch of iron ship-building. To these industries must be added flour-milling, the manufacture of semolina and other farinaceous foods and of biscuits, bricks and tiles, rope, casks, capsules for bottles and other tin-goods, tanning, distilling, brewing and sulphur- and sugar-refining. There are state tobacco and match factories.

History.-The Greek colony of Massalia (Lat. M assilia) was founded by the mariners of Phocaea in Asia Minor, about 600 B.C. The settlement of the Greeks in waters which the Carthaginians reserved for their own commerce was not effected without a naval conflict; it is not improbable that the Phoenicians were settled at Marseilles before the Greek period, and that the name of the town is the Phoenician for “ settlement.” Whether the judges (sophetim, “ suffetes ”) of the Phoenician sacrificial tablet of Marseilles were the rulers of a city existing before the advent of the Phocaeans, or were consuls for Punic residents in the Greek period, is disputed. In 542 B.C. the fall of the Phocaean cities before the Persians probably sent new settlers to the Ligurian coast and cut off the remote city of Massalia from close Connexion with the mother country. Isolated amid alien populations, the Massaliots made their way by prudence in dealing with the inland tribes, by vigilant administration of their oligarchical government, and by frugality united to remarkable commercial and naval enterprise. Their colonies spread east and west along the coast from Monaco to Cape St Martin in Spain, carrying with them the worship of Artemis; the inland trade, in which wine was an important element, can be traced by finds of Massalian coins across Gaul and through the Alps as far as Tirol. In the 4th century B.C. the Massaliot Pytheas visited the coasts of Gaul, Britain and Germany, and Euthymenes is said to have sailed down the west coast of Africa as far as Senegal. The great rival of Massalian trade was Carthage, and in the Punic Wars the city took the side of Rome, and was rewarded by Roman assistance in the subjugation of the native tribes of Liguria. In the war between Caesar and Pompey Massilia took Pompey's side and in A.D. 49 offered a vain resistance to Caesar's lieutenant Trebomus. In memory of its ancient services the city, “ without which, ” as Cicero says, “ Rome had never triumphed over the Transalpine nations, ” was left as a civitas libera, but her power was broken and most of, her dependencies taken from her. From this time Massilia has little place in Roman history, it became for a time an important school of letters and medicine, but its commercial and intellectual importance declined. The town appears to have been Christianized before the end of the 3rd century, and at the beginning of the 4th century was the scene of the martyrdom of St Victor. Its reputation partly revived through the names of Gennadius and Cassian, which give it prominence