Marseille, known as Marseilles in English, is a city in France. Known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Massalia, Marseille was the most important trading centre in the region, Marseille is now Frances largest city on the Mediterranean coast and the largest port for commerce and cruise ships. The city was European Capital of Culture, together with Košice, Slovakia and it hosted the European Football Championship in 2016, and will be the European Capital of Sport in 2017. The city is home to campuses of Aix-Marseille University and part of one of the largest metropolitan conurbations in France. Marseille is the second largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third largest metropolitan area in France after Paris, further east still are the Sainte-Baume, the city of Toulon and the French Riviera. To the north of Marseille, beyond the low Garlaban and Etoile mountain ranges, is the 1,011 m Mont Sainte Victoire. To the west of Marseille is the artists colony of lEstaque, further west are the Côte Bleue, the Gulf of Lion.
The airport lies to the north west of the city at Marignane on the Étang de Berre, the citys main thoroughfare stretches eastward from the Old Port to the Réformés quarter. Two large forts flank the entrance to the Old Port—Fort Saint-Nicolas on the south side and Fort Saint-Jean on the north. Further out in the Bay of Marseille is the Frioul archipelago which comprises four islands, one of which, If, is the location of Château dIf, the main commercial centre of the city intersects with the Canebière at rue St Ferréol and the Centre Bourse. To the south east of central Marseille in the 6th arrondissement are the Prefecture and the fountain of Place Castellane. To the south west are the hills of the 7th arrondissement, the railway station—Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles—is north of the Centre Bourse in the 1st arrondissement, it is linked by the Boulevard dAthènes to the Canebière. Marseille has a Mediterranean climate with mild, humid winters and warm to hot, december and February are the coldest months, averaging temperatures of around 12 °C during the day and 4 °C at night.
Marseille is officially the sunniest major city in France with over 2,900 hours of sunshine while the average sunshine in France is around 1,950 hours, less frequent is the Sirocco, a hot, sand-bearing wind, coming from the Sahara Desert. Snowfalls are infrequent, over 50% of years do not experience a single snowfall, whose name was probably adapted from an existing language related to Ligurian, was the first Greek settlement in France. It was established within modern Marseille around 600 BC by colonists coming from Phocaea on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor. The connection between Massalia and the Phoceans is mentioned in Thucydidess Peloponnesian War, he notes that the Phocaean project was opposed by the Carthaginians, the founding of Massalia has been recorded as a legend. Protis was invited inland to a banquet held by the chief of the local Ligurian tribe for suitors seeking the hand of his daughter Gyptis in marriage, at the end of the banquet, Gyptis presented the ceremonial cup of wine to Protis, indicating her unequivocal choice
France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established.
The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War, the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity.
In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the Franks