At the entrance to the rue Edmond Rostand in Marseille, there is a wrought iron arch that reads “Le Quartier des Antiquaires”. This signage has been announcing the speciality of this area since 2007, but the trading of second hand items and the appreciation of antique goods has a much longer history here. What began with just a few traders steadily grew as it became apparent that locals of this area loved to reuse and upcycle, and also bargain their days away on a market. For more than 50 years such tradesmen have gathered here, and this tradition keeps getting stronger.
The concentration of antiques shops in Le Quartier des Antiquaires makes it quite a special area. It is a real gathering of experts and collectors, and is a great place to walk through when seeking inspiration for home decorating or design. Wonderful examples of upcycled goods can be found here, and store owners are happy to talk through their ideas dispense advice and information. If design is not your thing, so many items can be found here that are unique, which makes it the perfect place to shop for household decor.
The range of different shops found within Le Quartier des Antiquaires is amazing. Antique shops abound of course, and interior design stores are a-plenty. There are second-hand booksellers, art galleries, painters, framers, cabinet makers and clothes stores both vintage and designer. Window shopping in this area is a complete delight and days can be spent here just looking at everything on display. Even if you’re not in a shopping mood, a trip to Le Quartier des Antiquaires is its own reward and won’t disappoint: the architecture of this district is typical of the Napoleon III era and is characterized by beautiful Hausmanian-style buildings with carved stone facades.
Le Quartier des Antiquaires has regular events to celebrate all things second hand a vintage. On the first Thursday of each month, shops stay open until 9pm for the Late Openings festivities, meaning visitors can shop right up until the last daylight and then stop in one of the excellent restaurants for dinner. And four Sundays a year since 1987, the large flea market Journées De Brocante Antiquités Rostand takes over Le Quartier des Antiquaires. On those days, the neighborhood’s antique shops, picture galleries, second-hand booksellers, and decorators are exceptionally open, and up to 100 professional antique dealers sell their wares along the rue Edmond Rostand and its square.