We had a most delicious journey to Marseilles, through a country sweetly declining to the south and Mediterranean coasts, full of vineyards and olive-yards, orange trees, myrtles, pomegranates, and the like sweet plantations, to which belong pleasantly-situated villas1,  to the number of above 1500, built all of freestone, and in prospect showing as if they were so many heaps of snow dropped out of the clouds amongst those perennial greens. It was almost at the shutting of the gates that we arrived. Marseilles is on the sea-coast, on a pleasant rising ground, well-walled, with an excellent port for ships and galleys, secured by a huge chain of iron drawn across the harbour at pleasure; and there is a well-fortified tower with three other forts, especially that built on a rock2; but the castle commanding the city is that of Notre Dame de la Garde3. In the chapel hung up divers crocodiles’ skins.

“Vue de l’Hôtel de Ville de Marseille du côté du Port. N° 18” Artist unknown. 1750. Source: BnF.


  1. The bastides or country-houses of Provence. –AD 

  2. Fort St. Nicolas. –AD 

  3. [The church of Notre Dame de la Garde was rebuilt in 1864 on the site of a former chapel of 1214 –AD