Shopping tip in Marseille: Maison Empereur

Original soap from Marseille.

There are shops that deserve to be listed. The Maison Empereur in Marseille is such a shop. It has been family owned for four generations and offers shopping experiences like 200 years ago.

#Nostalgic shopping in Marseille

It is an inconspicuous door: no neon sign, only a hand-painted lettering on the black door frame. My tour guide Marion says, "You have to see that. This business is unique. I always find something there. "Unfortunately not only her. Already on entering the shop I am enchanted.

The Maison Empereur - a beautiful shop in Marseille.

Because it's like going on a journey through time. and the view on pots. But even as I crossed the threshold, I am enchanted: Brushes, handmade fall into my eyes, as well as strange cabinets, which are covered with fine wire instead of wood: Dry drying cupboards to apple ring or mushrooms. In addition, barrels in which sauerkraut can ripen or any kitchen utensils whose meaning I do not understand.

It looks like a museum, right?

Brushes with natural bristles.

#Time travel in the hardware store

It looks like a shop from the Bullerbü movies and that's what makes the charm. The business is divided into many rooms, each room has its own theme. For example, one sells baking utensils such as molds or cookie cutters, another nostalgic toy such as tin cars or children's crockery.

Nostalgic packaging

I'm so intrigued that I just run through the rooms and lose sight of Marion. For this I discover a small tearoom, from which I no longer want to web. I have long since lost Marion in the labyrinth of rooms. But that is already on again. I did not worry about that, just shoot this business. There are the typical soap designs from Marsaille, towel lines from the bale of cloth. You have to sew it by hand. Where do you get raw materials like these in the 21st century?

The pretty tea room of the Maison Empereur

# Laundry blue, enamel dishes and brushes for beards

For example, there would be laundry blue, small paper bags that you put into the laundry to get rid of the gray haze. Or these ancient bathing caps, which you put on in the 1960s, in order not to wet your hair in the pool, guaranteed with pretty rubber flowers on it.

Dish towels from the bale

Instead of soap dispensers made of plastic screwed here the pieces on a stainless steel tube, as it was with Grandma Gang and Gebe. Manual hand-held coffee grinders and wooden mastermind games are also available. French knife, beard brush or natural bristle and enamelware.

The store is spread over three floors.

#Plastikfrei live

I have hardly found a bigger plea for plastic-free consumption and sustainable lifestyles in the middle of Marseille. Incidentally, the hardware store is probably the oldest of its kind in France. The Maison Empereur was founded in 1827 and has been family owned ever since. More than 30,000 goods are available there.

Toy department in Marseilles

# Overnight stay in Marsaille: Sleep in the hardware store

By the way, the Maison Empereur is also a very special overnight stay in Marsaille. Although you can not sleep there in a bookstore, as you may in Paris, but in a hardware store. Well, not really, but above the shop is an apartment that can be rented through Airbnb, for 130 euros a day. It is, of course, furnished in the style of the old 19th century.

By spiral staircase it goes to the tea room

The Maison Empereur is located at 4 Rue des Recolletes in Marseille. There is also a tearoom in the shop.

The trip was supported by Atout France and the Sud region . Thanks for that!

Here are the hardware still in wooden drawers.


  1. away on a trip

    A beautiful hardware store and really great for rummaging, because I would not come out so quickly. Your contributions about Marseille are awesome
    LG Andrea

  2. So the store can not inspire me so much but this is certainly not the store itself but shopping is just not my cup of tea!
    But what I have looked at is the link for the apartment! That looks really cool. Typical Andrea again something not ordinary to present here. That is also the reason why I like to check in with you because you are always good for surprises and the posts are somehow abnormal! I do not mean to compare with others. Well done again !!!! LG Manni

    • Thank you dear Manni, that's nice to read, what a funny compliment. Yes, I like extraordinary places and could imagine that you would enjoy it there. But the department store itself is very photogenic. Unfortunately, as so often, I had too little time! best regards

  3. Oh, what a store! I think I would run out of it completely impoverished. 😀 Thank you for this great "find", I put the Maison Empereur with me on my list! After all, I want to go to Marseilles for ages.

    Greetings and a wonderful weekend!

    • Dear Ammara, yes impoverished and with a lot of excess baggage! That's the problem, but the soap alone weighs so much. Marseille is just great. So colorful.
      best regards

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