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Lavender field and clouds near the town of Gordes, Vaucluse, Provence, France

Marseille (Provence), France

Marseilles, France's second-largest city after Paris, is an exciting, cosmopolitan port comprised of some sixteen distinct arrondissements, or neighborhoods. A large Algerian contingent calls the city home, adding its own inimitable accent. Much of the city's oldest section, Le Panier, was destroyed by German troops during World War II, sparing only three fine old edifices, including Hotel de Ville (City Hall). Two fortresses, St.-Jean and St.-Nicolas, guard the harbor entrance, while Marseilles's oldest church, Basilique St.-Victor, is virtually a fortress as well. This is a fine city for touring on foot, with sufficient cafes to provide refreshments along the way.