Notre-Dame de la Garde in Marseille


22 April 2021  |  Tourism, Architecture

Notre-Dame de la Garde in Marseille

The 19th century Catholic basilica, Notre-Dame de la Garde in Marseille, decorated with colored marble and mosaics, is situated on a limestone peak on the foundations of a 13th century chapel. Construction began in 1852 and took 21 years to build. The structure consists of a lower church of Romanesque architecture and an upper church of neo-Byzantine style architecture. Above its bell tower is a statue of the Virgin and her child 11.2 m high, with copper and gold leaf. From its elevated position, visitors to Notre-Dame de la Garde can admire the view of the old port of Marseille with a 360° view of the city of Marseille.

The Virgin looks at the sea

Contrary to what one might think, the Virgin looks at the sea and not at her child, she presents him to the world. Whether you come from the North, the South or the sea, you can see Notre Dame de la Garde everywhere.

Anecdotes about Notre Dame de Lagarde

  • There are indeed three bells, including a drone weighing more than 8 tons called "Marie-Joséphine"

  • The monumental statue of the Virgin Mary measures 11.20 meters

  • The Virgin is dug, there is a staircase that leads to the eyes of the statute (which is closed to the public)

  • From 1892 to 1967 a funicular left from rue Jules Moulet and arrived 80m higher.

Address: Rue fort du Sanctuaire, Marseille 7%C3%A8me.

History of the Hill of the Guard

The hill has always been an observation post, with a summit at 154 meters, it offers a 360 degree view of the city, the islands and the sea. In order to protect Marseille, from the armies of Charles V by the Constable of Bourbon, built a fort, serving as a maritime defense which the city lacked.

The Good Mother, emblematic of Marseille

The familiar silhouette of the basilica is for the Marseillais the place not to be missed in Marseille. Opening: Monday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Official website:

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Lee Jones

I am the property photographer for Pure France and travel throughout France meeting property owners. I come from a background of sales in the luxury brands Bang & Olufsen and Swarovski Crystal.

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