Discovering the city center of Martigues

Do you want to visit Martigues city center in one day with the family, but you don't know where to start? Don't worry, I have something for you! My name is Caroline and for the duration of a video, I will take you with my sons and I for a stroll in the streets of our Provençal Venice.



Hope you enjoyed the video. In addition, I share with you other information about my city, as well as some advice.

First of all, a little anecdote: did you know that the spelling of "Martigues" is not trivial? Yep, the "s" at the end of the city name isn't there by chance. This "s" is a plural mark, and therefore, a reminder of the history of this town on the water!

Today, Martigues is made up of three districts: Ferrières, L'Île and Jonquières. Originally, however, these were distinct and often conflicting fishing villages.

So when they decided to unite and become one and the same city, a plural mark was kept as a memory of the past. In fact, you will often hear the locals say "Les Martigues". And who says three villages, also says three churches: the church of Saint Geniès in Jonquières, the church of Sainte Marie-Madeleine on the island and the church of Saint-Louis in Anjou in Ferrières.
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Now that you have a better understanding of the history of Provencal Venice, I will take you to explore unusual places that my family and I love.

Labeled "City and Country of Art and History", Martigues will surprise you with its richness. During your walk, I advise you to go and discover works of art installed in the public space of the heart of the city. Fountains, frescoes, statues and monuments: open your eyes wide, a strong artistic creativity surrounds us.

In the video, I tell you about the bronze statues in the Île district, which represent Fernandel and Bourvil in an iconic scene from the film "La Cuisine au Beurre" shot in Martigues. Sébastien Langlöys, sculptor from Toulouse, has installed three additional chairs to sit down and share a friendly moment with these two great figures of French cinema. An original way to complete your holiday photo album!

PS: try to find a strange house which is in the background of the statues and which bears the name of "Maison en chapeau de gendarme". In particular, the building served as the facade for the film's restaurant.
The Island, a historic district, has another work that I strongly recommend! Different from all the others, I'm telling you about the giant sculptures on San Christ Point. You cannot miss this work by Bernar Venet, called "219.5 ° Arc x 15". Alongside New York, San Francisco, Beijing, Paris and Tokyo, the city of Martigues was chosen to in turn exhibit the French artist’s pieces. It is a work of art that intrigues young and old alike! You should know that the point is an artificial peninsula that asks to be noticed. With its view, water jets and fountains, this place is synonymous with relaxation and strolling.
Still in the Île district, on the Quai Lucien Toulmond, it is yet another type of public art that I would like you to discover: a fresco 10 m high and 8 m wide, produced by Guillaume Bottazzi.

This artistic intervention has an educational vocation: it will encourage you to wonder about the shapes, colors and meaning of this work.
Let your creativity run free and bring out the contemporary art enthusiast who lies dormant in you!
It is now time to cross the first blue bridge to arrive in the Ferrières district and make you meet the stars of the city of Martigues: the bronze statues "the fisherman and the mender". Fishing and mending are activities closely linked to the history of Martigues, almost emblematic. You can take a seat alongside the mender to learn more about the art of repairing fishing nets or face the sea to contemplate the harbor and the colorful facades of the houses on the Island. Very close, you will find the three flowery boats, symbol of the three districts of Provençal Venice.
If you have a particular interest in boats, I can share with you a great plan not to be missed during your day in Martigues! Did you know that one of the only ways to get from one village to another back then was by boat? Consequently, the city of Martigues has decided to pay tribute to this practice by setting up a free maritime shuttle, which runs continuously between the three districts. It's our bus, quite original, don't you think?

On Thursdays and Sundays, you can extend this walk since the shuttle route gains an additional stop near the General Leclerc car park in Jonquières, so that you can take advantage of its market. Martégaux markets are the ideal place to meet our local producers and taste our specialties. It can also be an opportunity to educate children (and adults) about the importance of craftsmanship and local consumption. In addition, we present to you our producers, restaurateurs and craftsmen - typically martégaux - in our article "The good local plans and the good addresses".
If you wish to further deepen your knowledge of Provençal Venice, while staying on a boat, I offer you a superb guided tour on the canals of Martigues! This 45-minute boat trip will reveal the city's unmissable sights, such as the famous "Miroir aux oiseaux", where the canal acts as a water mirror and reflects an endless landscape of colorful houses. Embark alongside the captain of the boat who will reveal the secrets of the three ancient villages to you.
However, if you're more earth-savvy, I've got you covered as well. Fun activities are an excellent opportunity to introduce children to the cultural and historical heritage of a place. This is why I suggest you walk the streets of the city center through a treasure hunt. Get the "treasure hunters" box on our website or directly at the Martigues Tourist Office, and go solve its various puzzles in total autonomy.

The goal of this hunt?
Reconcile three fisherman brothers by finding a mystery phrase (and earn a reward)!
Do not wait to combine education and fun on this tour full of surprises.
Our discovery of the city center in 24 hours ends here. However, there are still so many anecdotes that I would like to tell you, unusual places that I would like to show you around and activities that I would like to describe to you, but one day is really not enough! I advise you to put your suitcases in our Provençal Venice and really enjoy its city center and its surroundings.

But I warn you,
when seated near the mower, watching the sun go down
and change the colors of the city, it will be difficult for you to leave us!

 
In collaboration with Travel Me Happy
  •  - © OtMartigues