A history of a large docks in Europe and its restoration of it.
This district of the port dates from the beginning of the 19th century, a period of great economic expansion for Marseille and of major urban development. The old-port had reached saturation point, due in particular to the arrival of steamship. In 1858 the city set up its docks which were operated under concession by a private company, on a plot of 10 hectares.
Building of the docks, which are more than 400 meters longs, was directed by Gustave Desplace from 1858 to 1863.
The docks include four groups of warehouse building that are connected to each other and end with the magnificent administration building. Each warehouse has six level storage. They were the largest docks in Europe at the end of the 19th century. They can be compared to London’s docks.
After a period of almost total neglect, the Docks have been completely restored to their former splendor by the architect Eric Castaldi. You can find there offices but also cafes and restaurants. The whole area is under reconstruction : not so far from here, the new corporate tower of CMA CGM, a French shipping-container company, designed by famous architect Zaha Hadid, is rising.
How to go there : take the metro, stop to Joliette.