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The city of Marseilles in France is perhaps one of the most eclectic cities in the world, boasting a population of nearly a million people, sitting on what used to be the edge of the "known world" in ancient times. My first and only visit to the city made a lasting impression.
Marseilles is a city of contrast—active, bustling industry and international trade living side-by-side with divided cultural, political, racial, and religious tensions. It sports the beauty of the Notre Dame de la Garde overlooking a grand view from a hill above, yet within its more impoverished warrens, Marseilles can be dirty and dangerous, warning away interlopers. France24.com idly speculated it may be the most dangerous city in Europe.
The city lacks the pleasantry and cultural awareness of Aix-en-Provence, the heightened self-importance and historical gravitas of Paris, or the breezy unconcern of the central French wine country, but there is a something about Marseilles that is hard to capture.
It is, in a word, like us—imperfect, flawed, human, but with enormous potential. If Paris is the mind and soul of France, then Marseilles is its conscience, its warning bell, a truth made all the more accordant by the infamous Chateau D'If that sits just outside Marseilles' harbor. As Alexandre Dumas showed us in The Count of Monte Christo, in Marseilles, just as in our own lives, opportunity and despair often live side-by-side.
I hope your visits to Felonius.com will regularly be a cause for reflection.