La Vieille Charité

Top choice historic building in Marseille

In the heart of Marseille's Le Panier quarter is this grand and gorgeous almshouse, built by Pierre Puget (1620–94), an architect and sculptor born just a couple of streets away who rose to become Louis XIV's architect. With its neoclassical central chapel and elegant arcaded courtyard, it’s a structure of great harmony and grace. Entry is free, although there's a charge to visit the excellent Musée d’Archéologie Méditerranéenne and Musée d’Arts Africains, Océaniens et Améridiens, both housed within.

There’s also a nice cafe just inside the gateway.