Porte d'Aix

City Gate in Marseille

Marseille - Porte DAix
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Marianne Casamance

Porte d’Aix, also known as Porte Royal, is a majestic triumphal arch that historically served as the gateway to the city from the road leading from Aix-en-Provence. Designed by Michel-Robert Penchaud, the arch’s architecture is reminiscent of the majestic triumphal arches from the Roman Empire, with its main facades beautifully adorned with scenes from significant battles such as Fleurus, Héliopolis, Marengo, and Austerlitz.

The initial plan for Porte d’Aix was conceived in 1784, aimed at celebrating Louis XIV and marking the Peace of Paris, which concluded the American War of Independence. Political turbulence and shifts within the French monarchy delayed the project’s commencement until 1823 when it was revived by the mayor of Marseille, the Marquis de Montgrand, under a royal decree from Louis XVIII. The redesigned purpose was to honor the victory of Louis-Antoine at the Battle of Trocadero, which played a pivotal role in reinstating Ferdinand VII as the King of Spain.

The cornerstone was placed in 1825, dedicating the structure to the royal family. In 1828, the adjacent aqueduct was removed to clear space for Place d’Aix. However, subsequent political changes in France stalled the project once more. It was not until Louis-Philippe’s rule that the construction finally concluded in 1839. By this time, the significance of the arch had shifted from celebrating a singular military campaign to commemorating a broader array of French military successes.

The Porte d'Aix appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Marseille!

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Visiting Porte d'Aix


24 Hours



Address: Porte d'Aix, Place Jules Guesde, Marseille, France
Duration: 20 minutes

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