Garden of Migration
Throughout the outdoor areas of the Fort Saint-Jean, the Garden of Migration unfurls: a real nature break in the middle of the city! Amidst the flowers, shrubs and herbs from the shores of the Mediterranean, this scenic, sensory walk invites you to look, touch, smell and listen. An open tour with six stops in this garden with a difference.
|Length||45 minutes (see the site’s opening hours)|
|Useful information||Cloakroom / Food and Drink / Cooling Off|
From the entrance to the Fort Saint-Jean (Old Port side) and the orange tree courtyard, go up to Myrtle Garden, full of delicately scented flowers and leaves, whose name is evocative of the Alhambra in Grenada. This small courtyard with its paths lined with myrtle and pomegranate trees is intentionally reminiscent of the commander’s ceremonial garden that reigned over the site during the Crusades.
Here, weeds have place of honour: milk thistle, buckhorn plantain, mallow, sow thistle and more. These plants, typical of uncultivated environments and relegated to the edges of pathways, are actually useful in more than one way, and the time has come to pay tribute to them!
Aromatic Trail and Mediterranean Kitchen Garden
Behind the Georges Henri Rivière building, take the Aromatic Trail: this scented garden, which grows hand-high, encourages touching and unveils some very familiar smells like thyme, sage, savory, oregano, lavender and more. Right nearby, the kitchen garden tells the saga of the vegetables of the Mediterranean: tomatoes, courgettes, sweet peppers, aubergines, and so on. A brief history of ratatouille!
From the Place d’Armes, behind the tiered seating, enter the vast hillside gardens, a mosaic of landscapes and cultivated terraces that celebrate the vegetation of the South of France: garrigue, flowering prairie, rows of grapevines, orchards and more. Picnic tables invite you to take a break under the shade of an olive tree.
Ethnobotanical Tour of Plants Emblematic of the Mediterranean
This garden unfolds along the length of the Chemin de Ronde with its amazing view of Marseille. Medicinal plants, witches’ plants, love potions, poisons, and plants from mythology and Antiquity, the Bible and the Koran all mix in a great historical, mystical and mythological fresco painted by Mother Nature!
St John’s Herbs
These “healing herbs” used to be picked on the morning of 24 June, the day of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, that very same saint who lent his name to the fort. Milfoil, artemisia, sempervivum, ground ivy, oxeye daisy, St John’s wort and sage: settle down amidst the seven St John’s Day plants... They ward off evil spells!