La Rade, which includes the Harbour area, some neighbourhoods of the old town and a small archipelago, has been on the UNESCO Tentative List since 2002, waiting to be given World Heritage status. I am very surprised that it is taking so long. It is a truly magnificent area and leaves you in no doubt about the importance of this city and its colourful and multicultural history.
Santons were invented in Marseille. The Provencal word Santoun means 'Little Saint'. The first clay santons were created by the Marsellais artisan, Jean-Louis Lagnel (1761 - 1822) during the French Revolution when the churches were closed down, midnight mass was cancelled and nativity scenes were prohibited. He began moulding the earliest figurines in 1797, out of clay to make them affordable for everyone and so that every family could install a nativity scene in their own home and continue to worship, albeit illegally, within the privacy of their own home.