World Smart Week moves to Marseille, the second largest city in France and an essential destination for business and tourism. Nestled between sea and hills, Marseille combines the richness of a unique heritage, an intense cultural life and an exceptional location.
Some facts: one of the sunniest French city, Marseille enjoys an average temperature of 25 C° (77 F°) in September; 1st port in France; 3rd economic region in France; European Capital of Culture 2013.
More details in the "Tourism" section below.
New venue: Pharo Palace in Marseille, Provence
The event takes place at the prestigious "Palais du Pharo" (Pharo Palace), a central venue which offers impressive views both on the Mediterranean Sea and Marseille’s Old Port.
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Getting to the Palais du Pharo:
TRANSPORT: TRAVELLING TO MARSEILLE
From luxury hotels and international chain hotels next to the Pharo Palace Garden to small character hotels also in the city centre, Marseille offers a wide range of accommodation to satisfy anyone.
September being still a high & busy period in Marseille and in Provence, the organizers recommend you secure your room at the earliest.
The following is a selection of hotels among the closest of the event venue.
Several hotels of the Accor Group propose preferential rates for World Smart Week delegates:
City of art and culture, Marseille will surprise you with its many wonders. The traditional and the contemporary go hand in hand in this city with a history that goes back 26 centuries.
Below are some of the city’s hihglights. For full information about Marseille and its surroundings, the Tourist Office & Convention Bureau is at your disposal.
► Visit www.marseille-tourisme.com/en/
Marseille is in the throes of an unprecedented building programme. The world’s leading contemporary architects are working on redesigning the city’s profile. On the foundations of the past, Marseille is reconstructing the face of its future.
The MuCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilization)
At the entrance of the Old Port of Marseille, floating between sea and sky, a new national museum has opened its doors. Directly facing the open sea, the MuCEM’s very location makes it a major development for the Mediterranean, redefining its horizon to create a place where its two shores unite.
Built by the architect Rudy Ricciotti, the MuCEM is a place dedicated to the discovery of the major stages of Mediterranean civilisations, addressing themes as striking as the invention of gods, the treasures of the spice route, the visions of Jerusalem, the citizens’ banquet or the curiosity cabinet on the seven wonders of the world.
The public then passes through the arcades and vaulted rooms hidden in the stone recesses of Fort Saint-Jean, a historic monument that dates back to the 12th century. Via a suspended footbridge, cast over the sea, visitors can enjoy spectacular and previously unseen panoramas. Here, they can stroll in the new Mediterranean garden and marvel at the riches of the MuCEM’ collections of popular and folk art.
A third site located in the Belle de Mai district, near the Saint-Charles railway station, houses the Centre for Conservation and Resources (CCR), designed by the architect, Corinne Vezzoni. A facility for the conservation of the collections, the CCR also offers opportunities to visit behind the scenes of the museum. One of its spaces recounts the history of the museum, also open to the public.
► Full details at: www.mucem.org/en
The Old Port (Vieux-Port):
In 600 B.C., the Greeks from Phocaea in Asia Minor landed in the Lacydon calanque. Throughout Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the city was established on the northern shore of the port. Expansion toward the south began in 1666, due to the influence of Louis XIV. From 2010 to 2013 Marseille has drawn a new town centre with the semi pedestrian Old Port. The architect Norman Foster and landscape architect Michel Desvigne have created a new urban Pedestrian Port. Voluntarily mineralized to be faithful to the history of the old Port with a granite pavement, it favors the public transportation.
Visitors to Marseille will experience a trip through the ages, from the city’s Greek and Roman origins, to the medieval religious foundations and up to modern times with the major architectural achievements of the 21st century. Marseille’s 111 neighbourhoods and 16 districts are bursting with a wide variety of monuments, picturesque sights and museums.
Notre-Dame de la Garde:
Rising 154 meters above the sea, the "Garde" hill is Marseille’s highest point. The basilica, whose Madonna and Child protect the city and its inhabitants, was built between 1853 and 1864, when it was consecrated. (proper attire required inside the basilica)
Main thoroughfare and symbol of Marseille, this avenue derives its name from the word "canebe", or hemp, which was used by the ropemakers that were located here in the Middle Ages. Haussmann-style buildings were later erected here, during the 19th century.
The Old and the New Major: Located in the Panier district, they are both classified historical monuments. The first dates from the 12th century. The second was built during the rule of Napoleon the 3rd in the Romanesque-Byzantine style.
A hymn to the glory of water, this monumental palace and water tower is closely related to the construction of the Durance canal. It is considered to be one of best examples of Second Empire architecture in Marseille.
Islands of the Frioul and the Château d’If:
A limestone silhouette off the coast of Marseille, the four islands that make up the Frioul archipelago point toward the shore: Pomègues, Ratonneau, If and Tiboulen. Alexandre Dumas made the Château d’If famous, using the island as the prison setting for his hero, the Count of Monte Cristo. The castle is a former fortress that was built under the rule of François I in order to defend the city.
Palais du Pharo:
The mythical palace of Napoleon III who wanted to reside right on the water, the Pharo palace is one of the Phocaean city’s landmarks. Towering above the sea, surrounded by vast gardens, the building is an ideal location for seminars and leisurely strolls.
Château Borély and its park:
Formerly the property of the Borély family, it was built in 1766. Part of the estate was purchased by the city in the middle of the 19th century. Among the attractions in the 17-hectare park are a lake, French gardens, a rose garden, a botanical garden, shaded lawns and bicycle paths. The site is highly appreciated by many of Marseille’s inhabitants. The castle is currently undergoing renovation work. Completely restaured to welcome the museum of the Decorative Arts, Fashion and Ceramics.
All foreign nationals entering and staying in the French territory must be in possession of a valid entry and stay visa, unless you are exempt from this requirement. If in doubt, information can be obtained from the French Foreign Ministry.
To help overcome administrative difficulties in certain countries, the conference organizers will provide an official invitation letter to any participant having duly registered and paid for their conference pass.
Invitation letter request should be made by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and must include the participant’s complete mailing address, fax number, e-mail address and professional or student status proof. Please also include your full name, passport number and birthdate.