Fos -sur -Mer is a commune with 15,499 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2011 ) in the department of Bouches -du -Rhône in the Provence- Alpes- Côte d' Azur; it belongs to the district and to Istres Istres Canton -Sud.


Fos -sur- Mer is located about 50 km north- west of Marseille on the Mediterranean coast, between the marsh and the Rhone estuary. The town has six miles of sandy beach.

Due to its importance as an international port perform several inland waterways to Fos:

  • Canal du Rhône à Fos: connection from the Rhone River to the port of Fos for large ships,
  • Canal de Caronte: A connection with the Golfe de Fos to the Etang de Berre. There was the Canal de Marseille au Rhône a channel connection to the port of Marseille.
  • Canal d' Arles à Bouc: former channel connection from Arles to Port-de -Bouc, 1968 at Fos, 6km from the former estuary, suspended and since then Canal d' Arles à Fos called
  • Canal de Fos à Port-de -Bouc: Connection for inland waterway vessels between the ports of Fos and Port-de -Bouc.

Population Development


The excavation site Mourre - Poussiou indicates the presence of hunters and gatherers since Epipalaeolithic. In the Gallo- Roman antiquity Fos was an important port, probably belonged to Arles. His name fossae Marianae is the origin of today's local name. He is also listed on the Tabula Peutingeriana. However, it is unclear where the Roman settlement lay.

In the Middle Ages Fos was a fief of the Seigneurs de Fos, a coastal strip of about 25 km long and 10 km wide, with one of the oldest and most important castles of western Provence, which controlled the road from Marseille to Arles, the Church of Saint -Julien and Saint- Pierre near Martigues and the Abbey of Saint- Gervais de Fos, which belonged to the abbey of Saint -Victor in Marseille until 1081 and has been reported in this to the Abbey of Cluny.


The economy of the village is dominated by the industrial port that belongs to the euro Marseille port and connections to Italy, Spain and North Africa. Petrochemical companies and chemical companies have settled here, including the refinery of Fos. Fos -sur -Mer is one of the most polluted towns in Europe. Here, the pipeline of the Société du Pipeline Sud- Europeen ( SPSE) begins to Karlsruhe for petroleum refinery Upper Rhine.


  • Saint-Sauveur church, 11th century ( Monument historique )

View of the church Saint Sauveur in Fos -sur -Mer from the Valley (October 2005)