The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, known as MuCEM for short, was an idea born out of the European Capital of Culture status that Marseille celebrated in 2013. It has since become an architectural icon of the city. It is situated at the Old Port of the city facing the sea. The museum represents more than just that, it is also a cultural centre for the city and brings together the Mediterranean’s two shores. The museum’s main focus is on disciplines that surround everything to do with Mediterranean life, whether it be diversity, social science or the arts.
One museum across three sites
Visitors to MuCEM can visit one museum spread across three locations. The exhibitions in the new museum cover displays on Mediterranean Civilisations, Inventions of the Gods, Treasure of the Spice Route, Visions of Jerusalem, Citizen’s Banquet and the Seven Wonders of the World. As well as this eclectic mix of artefacts and exhibitions, the main gallery also functions as an events venue where you can also take part in lectures, concerts, debates and film-screenings.
The second site is the 12th century stone Fort Saint-Jean. It is reached from the main building by a footbridge crossing the sea. As well as stunning views, you can stroll through the Mediterranean Gardens and admire the art collections. In Belle de Mai district of the city, you will find the third part of the museum: Centre for Conservation and Resources.
There are a number of guided tours and self-guided audio tours available as well as workshops and master classes if that takes your interest. Immerse yourself in delicious food at one of the on-site cafes and restaurants and celebrate Mediterranean cuisine which plays a huge part in local culture. Don’t forget to browse the many publications and take home your souvenirs from the gift and book shop. The museum is easily reached from the city centre and the Radisson Blu Hotel, Marseille Vieux Port on foot or by metro, bus or bike.