One of the most interesting chapters in its past is the rise of the Accoules, an influential family that played a major role in shaping Marseille’s culture and economy for centuries.
The Accoules were originally from Genoa, Italy, and settled in Marseille during the late 13th century. They quickly became one of the wealthiest families in town and were known for their philanthropy as well as their business acumen. The Accoules funded numerous public works projects including churches, hospitals, schools, canals, and bridges throughout Marseille – many of which still stand today.
In addition to being generous patrons of arts and education, they also made significant contributions to commerce by establishing trading posts along Mediterranean coastlines. This allowed them to expand their influence beyond Marseille into other parts of France, such as Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA). By doing so, they helped make Marseille an important port city with strong ties to international trade routes across Europe and North Africa.
The Accoules’ political clout grew over time thanks to strategic marriages between members within their family tree; this enabled them to gain access to higher levels within government circles both locally and nationally – something that was unheard of at that time for people who weren’t born into nobility or royalty. Their legacy lives on through various landmarks around town such as La Major Cathedral which was built using funds donated by them during 15th century construction efforts; it remains one of Marseilles’ most iconic pieces of architecture even today.
As testament to their lasting impact on French culture more broadly speaking: In 2017 then President Emmanuel Macron granted honorary citizenship posthumously to all members of this illustrious dynasty – an event celebrated throughout not only PACA but also much further afield.