Longchamp District (Quartier Longchamp) runs northeast of the old port and past the Canebière, The main street through the quarter is Boulevard Longchamp, going northeast to the Longchamp Palace (Palais Longchamp), with the Parc Longchamp up on top.
Longchamp District - Quartier Longchamp
This area, centered around the Palais Longchamp is about 2 km northwest of the Old Port. From the Square de Stalingrad at the top of La Canebiére, Bvd Longchamp runs through an area of business and residential apartment buildings (not very interesting) to the Palais Longchamp. [ Marseille Town Map ]
The Palais Longchamp with its magnificent entrance, contains the Fine Arts Museum and the Natural History Museum. There's also an aquarium in the basement. The rest of this wonderful Longchamp Park has an observatory, playgrounds, and acres of walks.
The Grobet-Labadié Museum is across the Place H. Dunant in front of the Palais Longchamp.
Longchamp Palace - Palais Longchamp
The Palais Longchamp, built in 1862-69, stands at the entrance to the Longchamp park. Guarded by four stone lions, the entrance is a magnificent fountain complex, with raging bulls trying to clamber out of the top and flanked by wide stairs going up either side. This fine fountain is, in fact, a cunningly disguised water tower. The water tower and buildings that make up the Palais were built as a commemorative monument to the arrival of new canal bringing water from the Durance river. The final section of the canal passes across the Longchamp Park in a stone aqueduct.
Longchamp Park - Parc Longchamp
This lovely old park is in walking distance of the center, spreading out over different levels on a low hill that's well forested. The main entrance to the park is at top of Bvd Longchamp in front of Palais Longchamp, at the southwest corner. There's a metro stop (Cinq-Avenues - Longchamp) at the southeast corner of the park, on Bvd Jardin Zoologique.
The top part of the park, near the main entrance, has pony rides for wee kiddies, and even a pony-drawn "covered wagon". Concrete areas are used for roller-blading and skateboarding, and many benches and nice lawns make it a social gathering place. This top part of the park also has two separate playgrounds, one with a fine pair of children-eating snake slides. There are other, larger playgrounds at the opposite end of the park, along with rides and activities for older kids.
The park, being on different levels and in different sections, seems even larger than it is. Much of the park has paved walks winding through trees and dense foliage, and past the old cages of the zoo, gone now for 15-20 years.
The ancient stone Aqueduct de Provence run perfectly straight through a long section of the park, its hundreds of arches still supporting a water supply into the city.