Vieille Charité

Marseille, France

La Vieille Charité is a former almshouse, now functioning as a museum and cultural centre. Constructed between 1671 and 1749 in the Baroque style to the designs of the architect Pierre Puget, it comprises four ranges of arcaded galleries in three storeys surrounding a space with a central chapel surmounted by an ovoid dome.

The main body of the structure is a rectangle, 112 m by 96 m, composed of four walls in pink and yellow-tinted molasse stone from the ancient quarries at Cap Couronne, with no outward facing windows. On the inside are three arcaded galleries superposed on each other, opening onto an interior courtyard measuring 82 m by 45 m. In the centre of the courtyard is a harmonious chapel, a round church, crowned by an ellipsoidal dome and fronted by a portico in the classical style with Corinthian columns. This Baroque chapel ranks as one of Puget's most original designs.

La Vieille Charité houses a number of different cultural and educational resources like the Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology on the first floor. It covers oriental and classical antiquities, as well as local Celto-Ligurian archaeology. The Museum of Art of Africa, Oceania and Amerindia, on the second floor, contains an unusually collection of artefacts, including masks from Mexico and West Africa and a unique collection of engraved human skulls and trophy heads from South America.



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Founded: 1671-1749
Category: Museums in France


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Melina I. (6 months ago)
A unique museum, with exquisite collections, in a quite different location from the typical museum buildings you may have visited. The expositions are diverse, interesting and very informative, although you shouldn't mind visiting if you can't read French, since nothing is translated. Maybe try the temporary exhibitions, those are usually translated in English as well.
Lucas Amaral (8 months ago)
Beautiful architecture and cool temporary expositions. Worth a visit.
Adejoke Olarinoye (8 months ago)
Most parts of the museum are free, but you still need to get the ‘free ticket’ which is easy to get. The staff are very helpful and nice. I recommend this museum because it is calm and you can take rests at different point. It’s very airy and seats are available.
Francesca Cella (9 months ago)
Pretty but not much to do, the museums were kind of boring but if you take a walk it's fine
KIARA.S (11 months ago)
Nice place and there are different exhibitions inside. You can get a ticket in the place and there are not queue.
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