▪ Francetown, Bouches-du-Rhône département, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) région, southeastern France, northwest of Marseille. The town is at the eastern end of the Canal de Caronte, which connects the Étang de Berre, a salt lagoon, to the Mediterranean Sea. Probably the site of the Roman camp Maritima Avaticorum, it was founded (1232) by Ramon Berenguer IV, count of Provence. It has several museums and old churches, including Saint-Louis (14th century), Saint-Genès (17th century), and the Annunciade Chapel. Martigues is a fishing port, with related processing industries, as well as a summer resort frequented by artists. It is also a centre for oil refining and the petrochemical industry, which is focused on the port zone of Lavéra, one of the original outports of Marseille, developed initially in the 1950s. Charles Maurras (1868–1952), leader of the extreme right-wing Action Française, was born in Martigues. Pop. (1999) 43,493; (2005 est.) 46,200.
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