Ashgabat (Turkmen: Aşgabat; Ашгабат, pronounced [ɑʃʁɑˈbɑt], Persian: عشق آباد; Russian: Ашхабад), formerly named Poltoratsk (Russian: Полтора́цк, IPA: [pəltɐˈratsk]) between 1919 and 1927, is the capital and the largest city of Turkmenistan. It is situated between the Karakum Desert and the Kopet Dag mountain range in Central Asia. It is also near the Iran-Turkmenistan border.
The city was founded in 1881 on the basis of an Ahal Teke tribal village, and made the capital of the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic in 1924.
Marseille ( mar-SAY, also spelled in English as Marseilles; French: [maʁsɛj] (listen), locally [maχˈsɛjə] (listen); Occitan: Marselha [maʀˈsejɔ, -ˈsijɔ]) is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in France. It is located on the coast of the Gulf of Lion, part of the Mediterranean Sea, near the mouth of the Rhône. Marseille is the second largest city in France, covering an area of 241 km2 (93 sq mi) and had a population of 870,018 in 2016. Its metropolitan area, which extends over 3,174 km2 (1,225 sq mi) is the third-largest in France after those of Paris and Lyon, with a population of 1,760,653 as of 2017, or 3,100,329 (2019) by the broader Eurostat definition of metropolitan region. Its inhabitants are called Marseillais.
One of Europe's oldest cities, founded around 600 BC and known to the ancient Greeks as Massalia (Greek: Μασσαλία, romanized: Massalía) and Romans as Massilia. Marseille has been a trading port since ancient times. In particular, it experienced a considerable commercial boom during the colonial period and especially during the 19th century, becoming a prosperous industrial and trading city. Nowadays the Old Port still lies at the heart of the city where the manufacturing of soap, its famous savon de Marseille, began some 6 centuries ago. Overlooking the port is the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde or "Bonne-mère" for the people of Marseille, a Romano-Byzantine church and the symbol of the city.
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