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Coordinates: 43°13′00″N 5°32′20″E / 43.2167°N 5.5389°E / 43.2167; 5.5389
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Cassís (Occitan)
Cassis seen from the cliffs of Cap Canaille
Cassis seen from the cliffs of Cap Canaille
Coat of arms of Cassis
Location of Cassis
Cassis is located in France
Cassis is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Coordinates: 43°13′00″N 5°32′20″E / 43.2167°N 5.5389°E / 43.2167; 5.5389
RegionProvence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
CantonLa Ciotat
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Danielle Milon[1]
26.86 km2 (10.37 sq mi)
 • Density250/km2 (650/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
13022 /13260
Elevation0–416 m (0–1,365 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Cassis (French pronunciation: [kasi]; Occitan: Cassís) is a commune situated east of Marseille in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, whose coastline is known in English as the French Riviera, in Southern France.

It is a popular tourist destination,[3] famous for its cliffs (falaises) and the sheltered inlets called calanques. The wines of Cassis are white and rosé, and not to be confused with crème de cassis, a specialty of Burgundy which takes its name from blackcurrants (cassis), not the commune. It is a filming location featured in The French Connection, notably for heroin smuggler Alain Charnier's house.


Port-Miou calanque in Cassis
View of the Cassis Harbour

The town is situated on the Mediterranean coast, about 20 kilometres (12+12 miles) east of Marseille. Cap Canaille, 394 metres (1,293 feet), between Cassis and La Ciotat ("the civitas") is one of the highest maritime bluffs in Europe, a sailor's landmark for millennia. It is east of Marseille and in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône.

One of its main beaches, called "Bestouan", is made cooler by a karstic source.


The present site of Cassis was first occupied between 600 and 500 BC by the Ligures, who constructed a fortified dwelling at the top of the Baou Redon. These people lived by fishing, hunting, and farming.

The current site of Cassis could have been inhabited by the Greeks, though no proof has yet been found.

During Roman times, Cassis was part of the maritime route made[clarification needed] by the Emperor Antoninus Pius. It was a small village, established mainly around the Arena and Corton beaches. The principal livelihood was fishing and maritime trade with North Africa and the Middle East. Several archaeological discoveries attest to this.[citation needed]

From the 5th to the 10th centuries AD, invasions by foreign tribes led the population to seek refuge in the castrum, a fortified city that, in 1223, became the property of the Seigneurie des Les Baux-de-Provence.

In the 15th century, Cassis was ceded to the Counts of Provence; then René of Anjou gave the town to the Bishops of Marseille, who ruled the town until the Revolution of 1789.

Industrial Revolution[edit]

In the eighteenth century, Cassis started to develop outside the ramparts of the fortified city and around the port. After the Bourbon Restoration, new industries developed here, including the drying of cod, the manufacture of olive oil and clothing, coral work, wine-making and the exploitation of local stone (cement, limestone). Stone of Cassis, which was quarried here since antiquity made the town famous. It has been used for the quays of the large Mediterranean ports (Alexandria, Algiers, Piraeus, Marseille, and Port Said). A claim that it was used for the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York City gained wide circulation but has been proved apocryphal.[4] Today, the stone is used more for domestic purposes such as the construction of sinks and fireplaces.[5]

In the twentieth century, as these industries began to disappear, the workforce turned to tourism and wine making. Cassis was one of the first three vineyards to profit from the appellation d'origine contrôlée (label of controlled origin) introduced in 1936.

Origin of the name[edit]

The oldest form is Tutelæ Charsitanæ, attested since the first century. It then drifts into Carsicis (15th century) and Castrum Cassitis (1323). These place names suggest a Car-s theme derived from the pre-Indo-European *Kar meaning stone or rock, to which has been added the suffix -ite. The French language has retained the Provençal Cassis spelling, which is identical in both the classical and Mistralian standards.

The final "s" is not pronounced in the local variant of Provençal, unlike other dialects. The pronunciation of the final "s" is found in the motto of the city, which rhymes Paris, Cassis and the word 'vist' with one another (pronunciation in Provençal "mistralien": /pa.ʁis/, /ka.sis/, /vis/). In French, both pronunciations occur.

The Provençal motto of the commune attributed to Frédéric Mistral is "Qu'a vist Paris, se noun a vist Cassis, n'a rèn vist", which means "Who has seen Paris and not Cassis, has not seen anything".

Twin towns/sister cities[edit]

Cassis is twinned with:

Notable residents[edit]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 2,300—    
1800 1,878−2.85%
1806 2,065+1.59%
1821 1,846−0.74%
1831 2,050+1.05%
1836 2,065+0.15%
1841 2,093+0.27%
1846 2,069−0.23%
1851 2,080+0.11%
1856 2,187+1.01%
1861 2,038−1.40%
1866 1,975−0.63%
1872 1,806−1.48%
1876 1,809+0.04%
1881 1,907+1.06%
1886 1,879−0.30%
1891 1,974+0.99%
1896 1,956−0.18%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 1,972+0.16%
1906 1,980+0.08%
1911 1,990+0.10%
1921 2,193+0.98%
1926 2,354+1.43%
1931 2,434+0.67%
1936 2,528+0.76%
1946 2,769+0.91%
1954 3,152+1.63%
1962 3,611+1.71%
1968 4,852+5.05%
1975 5,831+2.66%
1982 6,304+1.12%
1990 7,967+2.97%
1999 8,001+0.05%
2007 7,833−0.26%
2012 7,560−0.71%
2017 7,149−1.11%
Source: EHESS[13] and INSEE (1968-2017)[14]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires". data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 2 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021" (in French). The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ "Cu a vist París, e non Cassís, a ren vist!", "Who has seen Paris and not Cassis, has seen nothing!"
  4. ^ Harrell, Annelore (9 November 2011). "Foundation of our Statue of Liberty made from stone from Cassis". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 20 January 2016
  5. ^ Auzias, Dominique and Labourdette, Jean-Paul (2011). Provence , p. 259. Petit Futé. ISBN 2746930498
  6. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
  7. ^ Michaud, L. G.; Michaud, J. Fr., eds. (1843). "Barthélemy, Jean-Jacques". Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne. Vol. tome III (nouvelle ed.). Paris: A. T. Desplaces. pp. 179–181.
  8. ^ Mirval, José (6 September 1980). "Artistes qui ont disparus!", p. 1. Sisteron-Journal. Retrieved via the Médiathèque Archived 17 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine of the City of Sisteron 20 January 2016 (in French).
  9. ^ Archives de France. Commémorations nationales 2005: René Leriche. Retrieved 20 January 2016 (in French).
  10. ^ Lanie Goodman (17 September 2012). "Ground Breaker", The New York Times. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  11. ^ Maggio, Patrice (22 January 2012). "Teisseire: Le rois du sport, du politque, e du poker". Nice-Matin (re-printed in the Bulletin of the Association Généalogique des Alpes Maritimes, 1er trimestre 2012, p. 7). Retrieved 20 January 2016 (in French).
  12. ^ AFP(15 July 2018). "Michel Platini encourage les Bleus", L'Équipe. Retrieved 15 July 2018 (in French).
  13. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Cassis, EHESS (in French).
  14. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE

External links[edit]