Miroir aux oiseaux

Historic site and monument
  • Le Miroir aux oiseaux
  • Le Miroir aux oiseaux
  • Le Miroir aux oiseaux
  • Le Miroir aux oiseaux
  • Le Miroir aux oiseaux
  • Le Miroir aux oiseaux
Le Miroir aux oiseauxLe Miroir aux oiseauxLe Miroir aux oiseauxLe Miroir aux oiseauxLe Miroir aux oiseauxLe Miroir aux oiseaux


The picturesque Bird Mirror has made Martigues' international reputation. The ensemble formed by the St Sébastien canal, the bird mirror and the Brescon quay has been a listed site since 1942.
Le Miroir aux Oiseaux in Martigues is a tourist hotspot full of charm. It is by going down the stairs of the Saint-Sébastien bridge that you can access this calm and tranquil body of water. Its colorful facades and aligned boats evoke the Martigues of yesteryear, a true haven of peace.

In the past, fishermen (for a majority of Martégaux by birth) moored their 6m long “chards” there. Located in the Brescon district, this place was the liveliest in Martigues. The wharf was constantly cluttered with the activities of fishermen busy maintaining their boats or repairing their fishing lines.

In the 1950s, many shops were open and the nets were drying in the sun on the “talantous”. Nearby, a swing bridge joined the Jonquières district and its shopping street located on the other side of the canal. It is now replaced by the lifting bridge.

The boats, often equipped with a lateen sail, and sometimes maneuvered with oars, are today replaced by pleasure boats. The bright and consistent colors of the facades of houses and the hulls of boats caught the attention of many painters (Delacroix, Corot, Loubon, Ziem or Dufy) in the 19th century. That's what makes this place so special. It is also said that the flamboyant paintings of the boats came from the remains of paint on the facades of the houses located all around.

Some visitors will enjoy strolling along the cobbled quay while others will stop there for their lunch break. On the one hand, the restaurant "Le Miroir" offers a few seats on the terrace for the privileged.
On the other hand, “The Accademia Caffe” offers a magnificent overhanging view. It is also on its roof that passing birds nest, whose reflection is projected in the water. Hence its name: Le Miroir aux Oiseaux, the martegal soul.

Every summer, it is traditional to celebrate the “Dances at the Mirror” on the Place de La Liberation, in the very heart of the Ile district. Today, it attracts photography enthusiasts.
  • categories :
    • Town of Art & History
General information
  • Parking :
    • Parking nearby
  • Environments :
    • In centre of town
    • Town location
    • In the old centre
  • Services :
    • Pets welcome
Services, Tours, Activities and entertainment
  • Environments :
    • Close to pleasure port
  • Historical patrimony :
    • Historic patrimony
    • Historic district
    • Historical patrimony
  • Accessible to disabled visitors :
    • Reception staff sensitized to the reception of people with disabilities
Miroir aux oiseaux
Quai Brescon
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Free access.
Miroir aux oiseaux
Quai Brescon
GPS coordinates
Latitude : 43.405141
Longitude : 5.055456
Marseille Provence: Airport / Aerodrome 20 km
Martigues Lavéra station: Railway station at 4 km