L'Estaque

"L'Estaque" is a quarter of Marseille. Sporting its own little fishing port, it is located in the city's 16th arrondissement to the far north-west of the city, between sea and hills. Its inhabitants are locally nicknamed "Estaquéens".

Formerly an isolated hamlet home to fishermen and tile makers, L'Estaque was the home base of workers from the local factories in the late 19th century, when it also became a popular seaside resort. Between 1870 and 1914, its scenery inspired such famous artists as Paul Cézanne, Georges Braque and Auguste Renoir, who decreed the Estaque landscapes to be "the finest in the world". Industrial activity crumbled from the 1940's onwards and L'Estaque was badly hit by the economic crisis and social strife, as illustrated by the films of René Allio, including "The Shameless Old Lady" (1965) and, more recently, the films of Robert Guédiguian, in particular "Marius & Jeannette" (1997).

Today, L'Estaque is a residential area of the city's northern quarters. Home to around 6,000 inhabitants, it is reputed for its village atmosphere. Little known to tourists, L'Estaque-Plage remains a popular destination for local inhabitants who enjoy sunbathing and strolling there on weekends.