La Seyne Sur Mer town guide
La Seyne sur Mer
Visitors will discover La Seyne sur Mer to be a town with two seasides! On the Mediterranean Coast east of Marseilles and close to Toulon, La Seyne sur Mer has a seafront on the harbour of Toulon on one side and the Mediterranean on the other. It owes its existence to being a safe harbour in a strategic spot and was developed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as a naval arsenal. The town's forts are famous, there are three of them. The first, Balaquier was built in the sixteenth century to protect Toulon harbour and the other two later as improvements on the first. In 1793 a young Napoleon distinguished himself, and was wounded, in action here.
During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries La Seyne has taken advantage of the wealth of Toulon and the ship building industry. The town celebrated the launching of all the large ships by saluting the event with cannon fire. There is no doubt that the commercial success of the nearby Toulon has brought many wealthy residents to La Seyne and many more who may have visited on business and returned later on holiday. This is an elegant town in a superb location. There is much to explore in the surrounding region if you have a hire car available.
Visitors with a hire car should not miss Institut Michael Pacha built in the early twentieth century as a resort for a man who had made his money as keeper of lights and lighthouses for the Ottoman Empire.