One of Marseille's many tributes to the city's Greek roots. Carved letters along the top of the façade say that the art of opera "receives the beauty of Aphrodite, the rhythm of Apollo and the balance of Pallas, owing its movement and life to Dionysus". The building has had its ups and downs since it opened in 1787. Ravaged by fire in 1919, it rose from its ashes like the phoenix (and like the Fenice opera house in Venice) thanks to a collective of artists and architects who worked for five years to complete the splendid Art Deco auditorium. Architects Gaston Castel and Henri Ebrard, sculptors Antoine Bourdelle and Sartorio, and painters Mathieu Verdilhan and Louis Audibert were among them.
2 rue Molière, Marseille 1er
Le musée Cantini
Jules Cantini is best known from the avenue named after him and the magnificent fountain on Place Castellane that he donated to the town. But it's also to him that we owe this building, dating from 1694 and built by the Compagnie du Cap Nègre. Cantini was a wealthy sculptor who designed a number of civilian and religious buildings under the Second Empire, and was also a passionate art lover. He bought the house in 1888 and on his death in 1916 bequeathed it to the city, on condition that it be turned it into "a museum devoted to the art of our time." It houses an admirable collection of works covering the period from 1900 to 1960, with some of the finest in France.
19 rue Grignan, 13006 Marseille
Tél. 04 91 54 77 75