Fort Saint-Jean is a fortification in Marseille, built in 1660 by Louis XIV at the entrance to the Old Port. Since 2013 it is linked by two thin bridges to the historical district Le Panier, and to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, the first French national museum to be located outside Paris.
Fort Saint-Jean was built on a site earlier occupied by the Military Order of the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John, from which the new building derived its name. Fort Saint-Nicolas was constructed at the same time on the opposite side of the harbour. Commenting on their construction, Louis XIV said, "We noticed that the inhabitants of Marseille were extremely fond of nice fortresses. We wanted to have our own at the entrance to this great port." In fact, the two new forts were built in response to a local uprising against the governor, rather than for the defence of the city: their cannons pointed inwards towards the town, not outwards towards the sea.
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