The Hospice of the Vieille Charité: an unusual story
It is in the 17th century that the King decides "the confinement of the poor and beggars" and that the City of Marseille implements this decision by means of a new monumental construction entrusted to the architect Pierre Puget. La Vieille Charité is the greatest accomplishment of this child from the Panier district born not far from there in the Rue du Petit Puits.
The construction of the Vieille Charité begins in 1671 with a first wing and will end well after the death of its author, in 1745. It is François Puget, who resumes the conduct of the works after the disappearance of his father in 1694 to finish the chapel and the other wings that make up today's building.
The Vieille Charité becomes in the 18th century a hospice of old and poor until the end of the 19th century. It is the army that will occupy it for a few years and then families without housing after the destruction of part of Le Panier during the German occupation of Marseille.
A long restoration of the Vieille Charité
In 1941, architect Le Corbusier denounced the abandonment of this fabulous building and allow the Vieille Charité to take the path of recognition as a historical monument and restoration. This emblematic site of the Panier that we know today was totally restored in 1986 and gave a new soul to the Panier district.
The Vieille Charité today
La Vieille Charité houses a museum, a cultural and research center. The spaces on the ground floor have temporary exhibitions as in 2014 on Picasso. The first floor houses the Museum of Mediterranean Archeology and the second is the Museum of African, Oceanic and Native American Art.
Free entrance in the building, courtyard and floors
Exhibit entrance : Full price 8€, Reduction 5€
Website of the museum Vieille Charité
from Tuesday to Sunday
9h30 - 18h
Closed January 1st, Mai 1st, November 1st, December 25th
Through le passage Lorette
La Vieille Charité is a fabulous historical monument. It shelters a cultural center which is the true lung of the district of Le Panier with the Mucem. It is possible to visit for free this architectural masterpiece entrusted to the child of the district, Pierre Puget.