Petit Futé's opinion on NOTRE-DAME-DE-LA-GARDE BASILICA
The symbol of the city par excellence. Visible from the 4 corners of Marseille, the "Good Mother" is the cherished monument of the people of Marseille who flock there from childhood to light a candle and admire the view. The basilica is also much appreciated by visitors passing through. The belvedere surrounding the basilica offers a breathtaking view of all the surroundings, from the Calanques massif to the port, which will convince even the least pious among us. Rising 147 m above the town, the place became a military bastion under Francis I when a first ancient chapel was built and preserved there. In the 19th century, the first ageing sanctuary proved too small to accommodate all its visitors. Bishop de Mazenod then decided to have a much larger building built on top of the existing one. Marseilles was then in the midst of a major refurbishment. The work, entrusted to the architect Espérandieu, began in 1853. In a typically Romano-Byzantine style (like the Cathedral of the Major), the building consists of a low church with a vaulted crypt that houses a polychrome crucifix (16th century) as well as a mater dolorosa by the sculptor Carpeaux. The high church, the sanctuary, is dedicated to the Virgin and is full of ex-votos from floor to ceiling. Raise your eyes to admire the vaults with gilded ceilings and impressive details. Climbing the steps from the car park is difficult, especially in summer, but a visit to the Good Mother is a must.
Information on NOTRE-DAME-DE-LA-GARDE BASILICA
Low season: open from 7am to 6.15pm. High season: from 7am to 7.15pm. Attention, last parking is closed at 7pm in winter and at 8pm in summer, all the vehicles must have left this one before closing. Free.
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