The monument was created in 1924: a competition was launched to create a national monument in tribute to the soldiers and sailors who died in the East and in distant lands. The chosen project is the one of the Bouches-du-Rhône's chief architect, Gaston Castel, who is notably the author of the reconstruction of the municipal opera house and the Baumettes prison. The monument was finally inaugurated on April 24, 1927 by the French President Gaston Doumergue. Based on the concept of a "portico in the open sky", the statues and ornaments refer to army fighters, such as the air force, with massive female figures with wings symbolizing heroism.
The Monuments aux Morts de l'Armée d'Orient and its surroundings
It is impossible to miss this memorial, which stands on the famous Corniche Kennedy, by the sea, facing the Friuli islands. Emblematic place for the people of Marseilles, it evokes, as its name suggests, a tribute to the soldiers of the army of the East and distant lands. It is a must when you walk along the coast to visit Marseille, especially considering that the Vallon des Auffes is just next door.
It is a true "gateway to the East" that reflects Marseille's history and has a special, almost emotional, meaning. The viewpoint offered is equally impressive. Benches allow you to set up near the monument. Did you know that the bank along the Corniche Kennedy is the longest bank in the world with its 3 km length? Facing the sea, its benches invite contemplation and reverie. The sight of a sunset from this place is an unforgettable experience.
To get there, Marseille Tourisme advises you to rent a bike, or, for the most intrepid, to rent a segway ☺
The Petit Train de Marseille will also take you on a guided tour to discover Notre Dame de la Garde, during which you can admire the Monument aux Morts de l'Armée d'Orient. If you are interested in adventure, the ticket office is located in the Old Port!