MARTIGUES, a port of south-eastern France in the department of Bouches-du-Rhone, on the southern shore of the lagoon of Berre, and at the eastern extremity of that of Caronte, by which the former is connected with the Mediterranean. Pop. (1906), 4,178. Martigues is 23 m. W.N.W. of Marseilles by rail. Divided into three quarters by canals, the place has been called the Venice of Provence. It has a harbour (used by coasting and fishing vessels), marine workshops, oil and soap manufactures and cod-drying works. A special industry consists in the preparation of boutargue from the roes of the grey mullet caught in the salt lagoons, which rivals Russian caviare.
Built in 1232 by Raymond BeVenger, count of Provence, Martigues was made a viscountship by Joanna I., queen of Naples. Henry IV. made it a principality, in favour of a princess of the house of Luxembourg. It afterwards passed into the hands of the duke of Villars.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)