Many of the visitors to Marseillan speak English as either their first or second language, whilst comparatively few speak good French. Whilst they were fascinated by the village and its port, they could not even buy a guide book in a language they could understand! In the meantime Mike & Patricia Worsam had been researching the very long and interesting history of Marseillan. Put these two situations together and you come up with English speaking residents having information that visitors would be glad to have. And so Marseillan Historique began in 2005.
At first only a village tour was offered, but it proved so popular that a tour of the historic port was added. No fees were charged, but donations were accepted… and they were willingly given. On average 5 Euros has been donated by each walker. The situation had to be legalised, and so the charity, Marseillan Historique, was formed in December 2005. (Its aims are on the Facts page.) Once the modest costs have been met all proceeds are donated to the benefit of people in Marseillan. To end 2010 almost 3,500 Euros have been donated. Tours for Groups were added in autumn 2008. These must be booked in advance, whereas for the regular tours on Wednesday and Thursday it is necessary simply to turn up.
With over 1,000 walkers, and some 280 who have joined as seasonal members, MH is firmly established as a viable addition to Marseillan’s tourist portfolio.
A proud fact is that after three years and 1,000 walkers the satisfaction level is at exactly 100%.
Take the tours and discover:
- Why Marseillan was the most heavily fortified Languedoc village.
- Why she was the ‘jewel of the Languedoc’.
- How she became the entreport for the Canal du Midi.
- Why Noilly Prat came to Marseillan, and stayed.
- How houses at least 600 years old are still completely habitable.
- Why Napoleon demanded the removal of the village cross.
- Why Midi clocks strike twice on the hour.
- How female emancipation began in France.
- The symbolism behind the Marianne and the tricolor.
- The history and importance of the Etang.
- The summer games that fishermen play.
- The story of Marseillan’s Belle Scribote.
The tour of the ancient village begins in Boulevard Lamartine which was one of the first roads built outside the fortified village (read more ....)
The port tour starts at 11 Boulevard Lamartine at 10.30. On the way to the port, through where there were vineyards until recently, there is a good view of the compactness of the ancient village (read more ....)
An Association wanting a day out for its members will find Marseillan an ideal venue. There is more than enough to fill a day - or half a day if preferred (read more ....)