Campaign of the Month: August 2011
Le Ballet de l'Acier
Situated near both the port of Marseille and the hospitaller commandery, the Seashell was originally constructed in the thirteenth century by the comtes de Brienne as a hostel for pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land. The hostel fell into disuse by the fourteenth century, however, and for a time housed hospitaller sergeants-at-arms. In the sixteenth century, the then-vacant building was leased by the order as a tavern and inn, in which use it remains today.
The Seashell is solidly built of limestone blocks, decorated with carved scallop shells both inside and out; legend holds that the seashells, the symbol of the Way of Saint James and not pilgrims bound for Outremer, were carved by mistake by a pious but confused stonecutter.
The Seashell’s common room attracts local fishermen and craftsman primarily, while its small complement of guest rooms may house visitors to the commandery.