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For other uses, see Cassis (disambiguation).
Port-Miou calanque in Cassis
Coat of arms of Cassis
Coat of arms
Cassis is located in France
Coordinates: 43°13′00″N 5°32′20″E / 43.2167°N 5.5389°E / 43.2167; 5.5389Coordinates: 43°13′00″N 5°32′20″E / 43.2167°N 5.5389°E / 43.2167; 5.5389
Country France
Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Department Bouches-du-Rhône
Arrondissement Marseille
Canton Aubagne-Est
Intercommunality Marseille Provence Métropole
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Danièle Milon Vivanti
Area1 26.86 km2 (10.37 sq mi)
Population (2008)2 7,793
 • Density 290/km2 (750/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 13022 / 13260
Elevation 0–416 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.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

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 in southern France.

It is a popular tourist destination,[1] 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.


The town is situated on the Mediterranean coast, about 20 kilometres (12.4 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.


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

The link with Massilia (Marseille),[citation needed] a city founded by the Phoceans,(Greek: Φώκαια), means that the current site of Cassis could have been inhabited by the Greeks, though no proof has yet been found.

During the Roman times, Cassis was part of the maritime route made by the Emperor Antoninus Pius. At this time, the port advanced right up to Baragnon. 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 fifth to the tenth century, invasions by foreign tribes {please specify} 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 fifteenth 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). Indeed, the Stone of Cassis, which was quarried here since antiquity made the town famous. The masonry for the quays of the large Mediterranean ports (Alexandria, Algiers, Piraeus, Marseille, Port Said) originated from Cassis,[citation needed] as well as the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York City. Today, the stone is used for more domestic purposes: pile (the Provençal word for a sink),[clarification needed] swimming pool etc.[weasel words]

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.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Cassis is twinned with:

Francis Picabia and F.M. Mansfield with 2 women and a man at outdoor café table in Cassis, France
Cassis (quay)


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1793 2,300 —    
1800 1,878 −18.3%
1806 2,065 +10.0%
1821 1,846 −10.6%
1831 2,050 +11.1%
1836 2,065 +0.7%
1841 2,093 +1.4%
1846 2,069 −1.1%
1851 2,080 +0.5%
1856 2,187 +5.1%
1861 2,038 −6.8%
1866 1,975 −3.1%
1872 1,806 −8.6%
1876 1,809 +0.2%
1881 1,907 +5.4%
1886 1,879 −1.5%
1891 1,974 +5.1%
1896 1,956 −0.9%
1901 1,972 +0.8%
1906 1,980 +0.4%
1911 1,990 +0.5%
1921 2,193 +10.2%
1926 2,354 +7.3%
1931 2,434 +3.4%
1936 2,528 +3.9%
1946 2,769 +9.5%
1954 3,152 +13.8%
1962 3,611 +14.6%
1968 4,852 +34.4%
1975 5,831 +20.2%
1982 6,304 +8.1%
1990 7,967 +26.4%
1999 8,001 +0.4%
2008 7,793 −2.6%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cu a vist París, e non Cassís, a ren vist!", "Who has seen Paris and not Cassis, has seen nothing!"
  2. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 

External links[edit]