France - Provence - Cassis -

Cassis : 1

LINKS to other pages in the Provence website and the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

Home Page
Introduction (Hotels etc.)
1 : Gréoux-les-Bains
2 : Cassis
3 : Aix-en-Provence
4 : Bonnieux
5 : Gordes
6 : Lavender Museum
7 : Gorges de Verdon
8 : France Parts 1 and 2
9 : Guest Book:

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CASSIS is a town in the Bouches-du-Rhône département. It is a popular tourist destination, famous for its cliffs and the nearby calanques. The town is situated on the Mediterranean coast about 20 kilometres east of Marseille.

The site upon which Cassis now sits was first occupied between 500 and 600 BC by the Ligures, who constructed a fortified village at the top of the Baou Redon. These people lived by fishing, hunting, and agriculture.

The link with Massilia (Marseille), founded by the Phoceans, indicates that the current site of Cassis could have been inhabited by the ancient Greeks although this has yet to be proven. During the Roman times Cassis was part of the maritime route created by the Emperor Antoninus Pius. At this time, the port reached up to the Place Baragnon. It was already a small village, established mainly around the Arena and Corton beaches. The principal livelihood was fishing and maritime trade with North Africa and the Middle-East and several archaeological findings attest to this.

From the 5th to the 10th century, invasions by the barbarians led the population to seek refuge in the castrum, a fortified city that, in 1223, became the property of the Seigneurie des Baux de Provence. In the 15th century, Cassis was ceded to the Counts of Provence. Later King René gave the town to the Bishops of Marseille who controlled it until the Revolution of 1789.

In the 18th century, Cassis started to develop outside the ramparts of the fortified city and around the port. New industries started to develop including the drying of cod, a clothing industry, manufacture of olive oil, coral work, wine-making and the export of the local stone.

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Tour leader, Philippe, stands by to shepherd his flock on to the local transport to town and harbour area  (right)

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View from the harbour at Cassis. On the nearby cliff is the Chateaux de la Maison des Baux

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The harbour of Cassis bordered by restaurants and souvenir shops  (right)

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The harbour shops and restaurants. In the background the belfry of the local parish church  (left)

The visit to Cassis continues on the next page.
Please click on the 'Next' button (lower right).

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