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La Canebière is the historic high street in the old quarter of Marseille, France.LocationAbout a kilometre long, it runs from the Old Port of Marseille to the Réformés quarter. It has been called the Champs-Élysées of Marseille.ToponymyThe name 'Canebière' comes from the word Cannabis in Latin, as the area around the Old Port were originally hemp fields and Marseille was one of the world's largest trader of hemp baskets and ropes from the Middle Ages until the 1930s, when other fibers were used instead.HistoryThe avenue was built in 1666, when King Louis XIV of France (1638–1715) decided to expand the city of Marseille.At the end of the eighteenth century, as the Grand Arsenal shipbuilding dock was demolished, the avenue was extended down to the Old Port and elegant buildings were built. Only as late as 1928 was it extended from the Old Port to the Église Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (also known as the Église des Réformés).During the French Third Republic (1871-1940), it became a haven for high society, with many cafés, luxury hotels and boutiques, and music hall performances. However, it was marred by the assassination of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia on the avenu on October 9, 1934. That day, French foreign minister Louis Barthou was fatally wounded as a result of this incident. Moreover, on October 28, 1938, the Nouvelles Galeries store was destroyed by fire, killing 75. The tragedy lead to reorganisation of Marseille's firefighters battalion, and the mayor Henri Tasso was dismissed.


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