Seventy kilometers and an hour's drive are between Marseille and Toulon, the two major cities of the French region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region
History in a nutshell
It is believed that people lived in Provence since the Paleolithic. What is certain is that Greeks established trading posts in the region in the 7th century BC. The Greeks were followed by the Celts and later the Romans. They founded the place "Telo Martius", from which Toulon emerged.
Under Roman rule, the city gained a reputation as a purple producer. The dyes of the purple snails found in the region were used to color toga fabrics. Those who kept themselves in the Roman Empire wore purple togas.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the settlement was exposed to a changeable fate for a long time. The Romans were followed by Saracens and North African pirates. More than a millennium passed before the Provence region fell to France in 1486. Due to its strategic location, Toulon was declared a fortress city and expanded into a French military port under Louis XIV. Which did not rule out that the city fell into the hands of the British for a few weeks in the turmoil of the French Revolution in 1793.
Toulon - Statue du Génie de la Navigation
German troops occupied the city during World War II. In November 1943, the center of Toulon suffered severe damage in Allied bombardments; Hundreds of people lost their lives in the air strikes. In August 1944, Toulon was liberated from Nazi rule.
Toulon in the present
The university town with more than 176.000 inhabitants (2018 estimate) is an important industrial, shipyard and commercial location. It is the home port of the French naval associations in the Mediterranean, the administrative seat of the Var department and the residence of the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon. The city is also an important transport hub: Ferries depart from Toulon to Corsica, Sardinia and the Maghreb. It is not without reason that Toulon is nicknamed “Port du Levant”.
Toulon from a tourist point of view
The after Marseille and Nice The third largest city in the region, despite its moderate climate and an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, is not one of the established tourist destinations of the Grande Nation. the Principality Monaco, Nice, Cannes and the north-west of Marseille overtake the city. No wonder: Outside of the urban old town and the upper town, the cityscape of Toulon consists of desolate streets and desolate concrete facades. Modern, stylish buildings flank the promenade that runs along the Old Harbor, and the attractive beaches are outside the center. Who wants to go on vacation in an unappealing place where France's naval forces are extremely present?
Toulon's concrete architecture
Toulon's Office de Tourisme
Toulon's Office de Tourisme goes to great lengths to attract visitors. Under www.toulontourisme.com Interested parties can find a lot of useful information in German. Some museums, interesting monuments, exactly 203 fountains, the 584 meter high Mont Faron as well as the beaches and the bay are exemplarily described. A city map provides valuable information on where to find the attractions and how to get to them.
Toulon - port of cruise ships
During cruises in the western Mediterranean, cruise ships often stop in Toulon. Large cruise ships dock at Terminal de croisières Toulon in La Seyne sur Mer opposite the city center. Smaller ships dock at Quai Fournel.
Toulon - Costa cruise ship on Quai Fournel
The historical center and the sights are within walking distance for the guests of these ships. The passengers of the large ships use shuttle buses or ferries to get to the center. Below is a description of what there is to see and do for visitors to Toulon Toulon landmarks.
Update November 2021