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LE PANIER GOURMAND RESTAURANT MARSEILLE

The Canebière

Canebiere 00

It was originally a vast hemp field (hemp was “canebe” in Provençal) called « Plan Fourmiguier », in the 10 th century. Hemp was used to make cords for boats and slings (ropes to raise heavy burden or to place canoes in the water). Marseille was known to be the world biggest hemp counter. The town was to flourish as the Count of Provence, Charles 2nd, decided in 1296, to create the shipbuilding yard. Later, in the 17 th century, Louis the 14 th enlarged the yards and created the Arsenal des Galères (Galley Arsenal) on the Plan Fourmiguier.

« Cannebière » is written with with 2 nn, from 1671, and the construction of the first houses. Around 1727, the first tress appeared, markets with fruit and vegetables and a pillory (a post with a rig where people condemned to be exposed in public were tied). Years later, apartment buildings appear. At the end of the 18th century, as the Arsenal is disused and transferred in Toulon, the Canebière then stretches up to the Vieux Port.

Canebiere 02During the 3rd Republic (between 1870 and 1879), it becomes a symbol of elegance with its chic hotels, stores and fashionable cafés. « guinguettes » thrived in the alleys of Meilhan (from the Bd Garibaldi to the Eglise des Réformés). Later, people go to the canebière to go to shows (Odéon, Cinéac, Pathé, Capitole). People walk as the kiosk plays music. People go to fairs (Herb fair where garlic or « tarraillettes » are sold…). The Rue Beauvau, built on former galley arsenal, hosts the l’Hôtel Beauvau, n°4, a luxuous hotel with a view on the Vieux Port, which welcomed many personalities such as Lamartine, George Sand, or Frédéric Chopin…

In 1854, the construction of the Palais de la Bourse is consacred (the Chamber of Commerce) where merchants settle. They used to sit at the House of the town, later call the Town Hall. Marseille is then a flourishing city where beautiful buildings mutliply, like the Hôtel du Louvre et de la Paix, n°53, magnificent with its 4 Caryatids (statues of women). It is classified as an historic monument (the façade still exists/ inside the stairs and two lounges have been preserved).

Canebiere 02From 1941 to 1977, it hosts the Navy and since 1984, the hotel was transformed into a modern clothing store, « C&A ». In the following years the Eglise des Réformés is built (1868). It owes its name to the fact that it replaced a chapel built in 1611 which was the convent of the “Augustins Réformés”.

Between 1865 and 1979, the luxuous Hôtel Noailles conceived by the architect Bérengier could be admired. In 1896 the Lumières brothers present their first movie in this hotel : « Entrée en gare de la Ciotat ». But today it has been completely redesigned (only the façades have been preserved) to host a big Police station.

A marine firefighting battalion was created in 1939, after a terrible fire took place in the « Nouvelles Galeries” and killed 73 persons.

The famous santons Fair started at Christmas 1883. Today it still takes place on the Canebière, but also on the place du Général De Gaulle.

Since 2007, la Canebière can easily be reached by a modern tramway (trois routes : Les Caillols - Gare de Noailles / La Blancarde – Arenc - Le Silo / Place Castellane – Arenc - Le Silo). Extensions are to be built by 2023.

In the cultural field, people in Marseille regret the loos of the big UGC Capitole cinema which used to be at the 138 la Canebière. It was originally a Music Hall theater with 2000 seats (since 1926). It became an 8-rooms cinema, on three levels in 1976. It was the most modern one in France. It was closed in 2007, and became in 2014, an aparthotel and a student residence « Odalys ».

Les Variétés, n°37 of the rue Vincent Scotto, at the corner of the Canebière, is an arthouse cinema which offers films of choice and in original version. In a very close future, a big cinematographic complex should be built near the Canebière, at the very location of the actual 1st and 7th districts town hall, place Léon Blum. (7 rooms, restaurants, cultural pole… /end of the study by 2015).

The Théâtre de l’Odéon, 162 la Canebière, was created in 1928. It proposes high quality performances. In the 1950s, performances became more diverse (revues, operettas, music-hall, cinema). Today it is the Théâtre Municipal de Marseille ; it presents operettas and plays.

The Théâtre du Gymnase, even if it is situated in the rue du Théâtre Français, n°4, can be considered to be in the Canebière. Built in 1804, as the city started to love theatre, 17 years after the apparition of the Grand Théâtre (Marseille’s Opera), vaudevilles, comedies, melodramas or Provençal plays are played. Under the Second Empire and then in the 20 th century, he becomes more and more important. Major actors or singers came here to perform (Louis Jouvet, Jean Weber, Jacques Brel, Reda Caire, Charles Aznavour…).

Canebiere 05Un lieu incontournable et très important : La Faculté de Droit et de Science Politique, au n°110, avec ses 10.000 étudiants, reconnue par les professionnels et les chercheurs (études dans les domaines de la santé, des nouvelles technologies, de l’orientation professionnelle / 56 spécialités de masters…)

Dans un domaine plus littéraire, il ne faut pas quitter la Canebière sans être entré dans la plus ancienne librairie en activité, la Librairie Maupetit, n° 142, reprise en 1998 par les Actes Sud. Elle offre, sur une surface de 850 m2, un immense choix de livres. Une salle est consacrée aux rencontres et débats.

Si vous entrez dans l’Espace Culture, n° 42, vous pourrez vous documenter sur les multiples spectacles présentés dans Marseille et sa région.
Allez chercher des informations, dans la Cité des Associations, n°93, en plein cœur de l’artère principale de la ville ; elle abrite le Syndicat d’Initiative de la ville de Marseille, mais c’est aussi un lieu de rencontres et d’échanges culturels. Dans la Maison de la Région, n° 61, sont également organisés des conférences, des événements culturels, des manifestations gratuites…).

Allez siroter un café succulent à la Torréfaction Noailles, n°56, ou goûter les irrésistibles chocolats et gâteaux, à « La Cure Gourmande », n°19 (artisan sucrecuitier), ou encore « una bella pizza » Chez Noël, n°174, près de l’Eglise des Réformés. Entrez Chez Picone, n°120 ; ce restaurant chaleureux et magnifiquement décoré de fresques évoquant Marseille fut créé en 1971. Allez déguster les fruits de mer, chez Toinou (n°3, Cours Saint Louis/angle Canebière/ ouvert 7j/7J). Vous ne pourrez entrer au Bellagio, n° 16, sans désirer savourer quelque plat bien préparé, une crêpe, une viennoiserie ou une glace. Quelques mètres plus bas, la Boutique du Glacier vous attend (angle Canebière/ place Général De Gaulle), avant votre départ pour une promenade en mer…