Fort Saint-Jean is a historic fortress that offers panoramic views of the boats in the bay and the cityscape. Built in 1660 by King Louis XIV at the entrance of the Old Port, Fort Saint-Jean is one of the most visited monuments in Marseille, France and boasts centuries of fascinating history.

Visitors can access the Fort Saint-Jean via 2 footbridges, which were added in 2013, that connect to Le Panier historical district and the MuCEM (Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean). Walking around the fortress is like traveling back in time.

Fort Saint-Jean - one of the highlights of 10 Things to Do in Marseille on a Small Budget and 11 Best Things to Do in Marseille (Read all about Marseille here)

Fort Saint-Jean highlights

When visiting Fort Saint-Jean, a great way to get an introduction into its significance is to visit the Galerie des Officiers at the MuCEM. This museum boasts a special space dedicated to the history of Fort Saint-Jean. There, visitors will be able to access movies, educational displays and more highlighting its glorious past from its origin to building additions. Some of the highlights include the Commandery of the Knights Hospitaller and the 15th-century Tower of King Rene, former king of Provence.

At the actual Fort Saint-Jean, visitors can see different structures, including a rise for cannons, remnants of a church, vaulted passageways and more.

Good to know when visiting Fort Saint-Jean

After learning all about Fort Saint-Jean at the MuCEM, you can walk through the site to see all of the different structures, such as the 2 elevated towers at the entrance of the port, vaulted passageways, a rise for cannons, and more.

After exploring at their own pace, visitors will find themselves in the bowels of Fort Saint-Jean, where they can discover other significant milestones and secrets of the Marseille monument. Also on site are fascinating exhibits, including artistic representations of the fort over the years. Admission to the fort is free.

Fort Saint-Jean

Location: Place d’Armes, Marseille, France

Open: Wednesday–Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm (closed on Tuesdays)

Phone: +33 (0)4 84 35 13 13