Our city breaks a funny world record! Indeed Marseille has the longest urban bench of the world, located in one of the most beautiful seaside promenades of South of France : la Corniche du Président John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
A Guinness Record dating from 1965 !
The Corniche bench extends over 3 km between Marseille tide gauge, opposite to the Jardin Valmer, and the Palm Beach Pullman hotel. It crosses over Prophète beach, one of Marseille most popular beaches, and passes a huge bronze boat motor blade (which weights 20 tonnes and is 9 meters high and was made by the famous sculptor César), the Mémorial des Rapatriés d’Algérie. The boat motor blade is a symbol of the Méditerranée crossing by repatriates from Algeria (when Algeria got its independence, 450 000 people arriving to Marseille in 1962).
The bench was built between 1957 and 1969 to offer a spot where the Marseillais could admire one the most breath-taking panoramas of the sea and the Frioul islands.
It was built below the main road so bikers and drivers could see the view too. It shows how important the touristic role of this place was already in the beginning of the 20th century when the project was decided.
Its particularity? Looking so clean and immaculate after such a long time, this bench must be highly resistant. It was made indeed with mould concrete to protect it from the sea. To reach the bench (to go around 3 km of bench takes a bit of time…), little passages were dig. Such a cool spot !
The Corniche bench is very popular among the Marseillais, one of their favourite spots. If you go there for a walk expect to meet runners and fishermen.
Our piece of advice
This is something you must absolutely do: sit there and wait for sunset. It will be one of the most beautiful memories you will bring back from Marseille. Catch the 83 and stop at Jardin Valmer for a walk direction the Prado beaches.