From time immemorial, men were attracted to and retained by the protective harbor of the Bay of La Ciotat. The Ellianac excavations and the Terrevainegrotto attest to a human presence with the settlement of sedentary tribes in the Late Neolithic (3000 – 2000 BC). It is estimated that the installation of the first settlement on the maritime route of ancient navigators dates back to the 5th century BC.
The “charter of 1429” explains how La Ciotat became a full-fledged town. In the 16th century, the town took off due to the emigration of part of the Genoese aristocracy driven out of Italy by local revolutions. Real shipyards were established in 1622. After the period of decline in the 18th century, the town modernized and transformed itself. In 1836, Louis Benet gave an industrial dimension to the shipyards. They change hands several times during the twentieth century and will constitute the town’s economic lung.