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The French city and port of Marseille lies on the Mediterranean Sea coast in the south of France. It is France's second largest city and France's largest commercial port. Stretching to the east from the Old Port to the Reformes Quarter is the city's main thoroughfare. At the entrance to the Old Port are two large forts, Fort Saint Nicolas on the south and Fort Saint Jean on the north. The Frioul Archipelago is located in the Bay of Marseille and is made up of four islands. Located on one of the islands is the Chateau d'If which was made famous by the novel by Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo. The city's centre has a number of pedestrianised streets, most notably the Rue St Ferreol, Cours Julien near the Music Conservatory, the Cours Honore-d'Estienne-d'Orves which is off the Old Port, and the area around the Hotel de Ville.
Four ferry companies run routes out of Marseille and offer scheduled services to Corsica, Sardinia, Algeria and Tunisia. There are four separate terminals and are all in the "gares maritimes sud" (southern terminals) district. National Terminals One and Two serve passengers to and from Corsica and Sardinia, while International Terminals Three and Four serve passengers to and from Algeria and Tunisia.
Oran is a city that lies on the north western Mediterranean Sea coast of Algeria and is Algeria's second largest city and is closely associated with the neighbouring city of Ain Temouchent. Oran is located around 430 km from Algiers, Algeria's capital city, and is a major port and commercial, industrial and centre for education in the region. The city can trace its history back to 903 when it was founded Moorish Andalusian traders and was later captured in 1509 by the Spanish under the rule of Cardinal Cisneros. Apart from a brief spell under the control of the Ottomans, the city remained under Spanish rule until King Charles IV finally sold the city to the Turks in 1792. Finally, the French have ruled the city since 1831.
Popular attractions in the city include the Demaeght Museum which contains exhibits of prehistoric archaeological artefacts from Magrheb and other ethnological displays. Also in the city is Dar el-Bahia, the town hall, the city's theatre and the beautifully designed Cathedral de Sacre Coeur which was opened by the French in 1913 and is now a public library.