Rue Adolphe Abeille
This street is lined up by beautiful dwellings built up by rich ship-owners and merchants in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is also home to beautiful buildings and wonderful old doors.
At No. 22, there is the building that Adolphe Abeille, a descendant from a rich family of La Ciotat, donated to the city’s hospice in 1898. Nowadays, it houses « Foyer des Ancients » and « Maison du Combattant ». This building, built up in the 18th century, is remarkable by the lobby’s decoration that reminds of the Abeille Family’s maritime and commercial vocation. A splendid wall closet and a wrought iron banister deserve to be classified in order to ensure their preservation.
The most beautiful building is at No. 18. It used to belong to the Grimaldi de Régusse Family who was related to Monaco’s Royal Family and later it belonged to Roumoules’ Baron. This building is noticeable by a richly ornamented door, by a banister with a baluster made with carved stones and by the tapestries. This outstanding historical building is the last preserved evidence from the mannerist architecture period in the beginning of the 17th century in the Bouches-du-Rhône area.
At No. 8 there used to be the labor court’s hall that was purchased in 1748 and decorated by the fishermen corporation. This room contains tapestries and pieces of woodwork from the 18th century.
At No. 3 there stands a beautiful wrought iron door that dates back to 1726.
Above the door at No.1 of this street, there is an angle sculpture representing a native
Indian head with feathers whose origins remain uncertain. The legend says it may come from the stonemason’s imagination about some exotic travel. It may also be the city’s oldest door, dating back to 1591.
Rue Louis Vignol
Some doors on that street deserve to be looked at closely.
The door at No. 11 dates back to 1715 and the one at No.31 features the entangled initials J.T.
The doors at No. 40 and No. 42 contain interesting details.
The doors’ frames, transoms and knockers at No. 3 and No. 22 are noticeable.
At No. 22 more specifically, there is a scallop-shell sculpture above the door’s frame. It may be the home in which the sailor Honoré Ganteaume, who later became admiral and earl, was born.
Rue Emile Ripert
On the rear side of the Lumière Family’s mansion whose entrance is at Allée Lumière, there stands the north gate of the family’s residence. On the pediment there is the Lumière Family’s coat of arms on which features the entangled initials.
Rue des Poilus
It is advised to take a look at the pilaster front walls at No. 19 and 21 that was Antoine Martin’s home, founder of the Minimes Brotherhood and who also was a justice magistrate in La Ciotat between 1636 and 1654.
In Rue Romana, at the right angle to Rue des Poilus, there used to be Gaspard de Grimaldi’s hotel in which Earl Alais, Governor of Provence, stayed in 1647. In 1669, Philippe de Bourbon Vendôme, the abbot of Saint Victor, was also lodged in this hotel. Nowadays, it is a conventional building, restored in the 19th century, that has lost its original appearance.
At No. 58 of Rue des Poilus, there is a building on which there is a plate stating that Captain Napoleon Bonaparte lodged there in 1793.
Rue des Poilus ends up with a building that currently houses a bank agency but that used to be an inn where the novelist Stendhal spent the night of the 16th of May 1838 during one of his holidays in La Ciotat.
The Pèbres were a family of coopers from fathers to sons for generations. Their marks have been left on many buildings that they made in the 17th century.
At No.3, the initials P.P (standing for Pierre Pèbre) and the year 1672 are noticeable on the keystone.
At No.5, a beautiful wrought iron transom also bears the same initials with a M-shaped intertwining.
The buildings in this street were all built up between 1650 and 1750.
In this little street, the ship-owners’s and the marine merchant’s houses unveil their doors ornamented with carved stones and dated vaults.
The most decorated one, at No. 10, reminds the memory of Etienne Fougasse, La Ciotat’s Consul, who had it made in 1625. This beautiful stone boss door testifies to Fougasse’s success. The magnificently carved keystone bears the initials E.F, the year 1628 and the Virgin Mary’s invocation.
The most beautiful doors...
Our Lady of the Assumption Church’s two doors are, for sure, the greatest ones.
The roman door on the left facade was created by the architect Massé in 1972 who had already been in charge of restoring the Parish Church. The beautiful door on the main front wall is called Consular Door. It was the door through which the mayors and the consuls used to get in. The frame of this door was sculpted by Jean Lenfant around 1616. The walnut door is a recent replica of the genuine one.