Marseilles (Fr. Marseille; Anc. Massilia), a city and the principal seaport of France, capital of the department of Rouches-du-Rhone, on the N. E. shore of the gulf of Lyons, at the head of a bay the entrance to which is sheltered by a group of islets, in hit. 43° 18' N., Ion. 5° 22' E., 400 m. S. S. E. of Paris; pop. in 1872, 312,864. It is connected by railway with the principal cities of France, by steamers with the chief ports of the Mediterranean, the Levant, and Algeria, and is the centre of the Indian overland mail service. On its N. side lies the old town, with filthy and tortuous streets and lanes, but containing some spacious squares, a remarkable town hall, and the remains of Roman ramparts. It is separated from the new town by a magnificent avenue, which is successively called Rue d'Aix, in its central part Rue du Grand Cours, and afterward Rue de Rome, and which extends in a straight line from the gate of Aix to that of Rome, traversing the entire length of the city from N. to S., and leading to the Prado, the most popular promenade on the seaside.
The handsomest of the many fine streets of the new city is the Cannebiere, which leads from the Grand Cours to the old harbor, and contains the most elegant shops, hotels, and coffee houses, including the beautiful Cafe Turc, chiefly frequented by Greeks and Levantines. The new city is built around the port. The quays are the most bustling and interesting parts of Marseilles, being constantly thronged by crowds of orientals, Greeks, Italians, English, and French, who are engaged in the business of the place. The animation of the city is only equalled by the picturesqueness of its locality. It rises over its port in the form of a gradually sloping amphitheatre; the surrounding hills are covered with olive gardens and vineyards, and with thousands of country houses or bos-tides of the citizens. Opposite the mouth of the harbor is the chateau d'lf, in which Mira-beau was imprisoned. On summer evenings the inhabitants seek relief from the heat on the seaside, which is crowded with pleasure boats; and many fine residences and places of public entertainment are situated along the banks. All parts of the city are well supplied with water through a canal fed by the Durance, and opened in 1850, at a cost of $10,-000,000. The public buildings possess little architectural interest.
The cathedral is said to have been built upon the site of a temple of Diana; the church of St. Victor is the most ancient church, and was formerly one of the most celebrated abbeys in Christendom. There is a French Protestant church, a place of worship for the English residents, a Greek church, and a synagogue. - Among the public institutions are an arsenal, a mint, a lyceum, a medical school, a hydrographic institution, a school for instruction in Arabic, an industrial and commercial academy, a line observatory, a museum of pictures, antiquities, medals, and natural history, a library of about 75,000 volumes, a botanic garden, an academy of sciences, letters, and art, medical, agricultural, and statistical societies, and a number of newspapers. The Grand theatre resembles the Ode-on of Paris. Besides the Hotel-Dieu, there are a lunatic asylum, a lying-in hospital, several public institutions for the relief of the poor, a school for deaf mutes, and other public and private charitable establishments. The lazaretto, which was so large that it could hold the entire French army on its return from Egypt, was pulled down in 1850 and removed, as well as the sanitary department, to the quarantine roadstead of Frioul, which was formed by connecting the fortified islets of If, Pomegue, and Ra-tonneau by means of a breakwater. - The old harbor is an oblong basin 1,000 yards long by 330 broad, occupying an area of about 70 acres, has a depth of water varying from 18 to 24 ft., and can accommodate 1,200 merchant vessels.
It is protected on the right by Fort St. Nicolas, and on the left by Fort St. Jean. N. of it is the new harbor, La Jolli-ette, which was completed in 1855. It is formed by a breakwater 1,300 yards long, thrown into the sea parallel to the shore, and at a distance of 1,300 ft. from it; two piers stretch toward it from the shore, at a distance of 600 vards from each other, so as to leave room for the entrance of vessels. It forms an inner basin and two outer harbors, and the former is connected with the old port by a canal, which runs behind the fort of St, Jean. The inner basin and this canal cover an area of about 70 acres. Other basins of still greater extent have been constructed since, so that at present they embrace a water area of about 200 acres, the imports in 1871, inclusive of gold and silver, were valued at 964,000,-000 francs, the exports at 732,000,000 francs. The imports of grain and flour amounted to 6,500,000 quintals, valued at 151,000,000 francs. Marseilles trades with all parts of the world, but chiefly with the Levant. Algeria, and other coasts of 'the Mediterranean. The number of French vessels entering the port in 1871 was 5,120, tonnage 1,309,000; French vessels cleared, 3,556, tonnage 878,000; foreign vessels entered, 3,715, tonnage 908,000. The manufactures consist principally of soap, morocco and other leather, glass, porcelain, caps, straw hats. refined sugar, salt, liqueurs, etc - The ancient city was founded about 600 B. C. by Ionian colonists from Phocaea in Asia Minor. (See PhocAea.) The prosperity and the commen of the new settlement made rapid progress Massilia became the rival of Carthage and the ally of Rome. Many new settlements were founded by her along the coast of the Mediterranean, and remained under her subjection, and her navigators advanced as far as the Hal-tic (about 350). (See Pytheas.) Threatened by hostile tribes, the inhabitants of Massilia called the Romans to their assistance (153-125). The city was left in possession of its independence after the subjugation of Gaul, but in 49, having declared for Pompey at the outbreak of the civil war, it was seized by Caesar and annexed to the Roman republic.
Massilia became then celebrated as a seat of learning, and was called the new Athens. Christianity was introduced there in the 3d century. After various vicissitudes the city came in the latter part of the 9th century under the sway of Boso king of Cisjurane Burgundy, find in the 13 th under that of the counts of Proven and in 1481 Marseilles with Provence was united to the crown of France. In 1524 it resided the constable de Bourbon. The religious wars were carried on with great bitterness in Marseilles, and the city submitted to Henry IV. only in 1590. It was deprived of its franchise by Louis XIV. in 1660. In 1720-21 it was desolated by the plague, which destroyed 40,-000 or 50,000 persons, on which occasion Bishop Belzunce distinguished himself by his zeal for the sick; a monument perpetuates his memory, and the poet Tope has celebrated his heroism. I during the French revolution, the city declared itself in favor of the Girondists, but it was taken by the terrorists. Sehlosser says: "Freron erected a revolutionary tribunal without a jury in Marseilles, and selected the refuse of humanity for his judges. It almost appeared as if the commissioners of the convention would annihilate the city itself and even the harbor.
Executions were of daily occurrence, and the destruction of buildings continued for months, while Freron dated his reports to the convention, according to the savage style of his time, not from Marseilles, but from 'commune unnamed." It was only after the restoration of the Bourbons that Marseilles fully recovered from these calamities. The colonization of Algeria gave a powerful impetus to its commerce. During the war of 1870-'71 it was repeatedly the scene of violent popular commotions, and an imitation of the Paris commune movement took place in March, 1871. The government troops re-occupied the city, after a struggle, on April 4.
The Bourse, in the Cannebuiv.