Marseille Notre Dame de la Garde is one of the most iconic landmarks of the French city of Marseille. The basilica stands on the highest hill of the city, the Garde hill, and offers a stunning view of the entire city. The basilica has been standing for over 150 years, and it is a symbol of the city’s history and culture.
History of Notre Dame de la Garde
The first church to be built on the Garde hill was a small chapel, which was constructed in 1214. The chapel was destroyed in 1524, and a new church was built in its place in 1536. The church was destroyed again during the French Revolution, and it was rebuilt in 1853. It was then that the current basilica was constructed, and it has remained the same ever since.
Architecture of Notre Dame de la Garde
The basilica is built in a Romanesque-Byzantine style, and it is a combination of both Roman and Byzantine elements. The church is built of stone and is decorated with beautiful mosaics, frescoes, and sculptures. The church is topped with a golden statue of the Virgin Mary, which stands at a height of 15 meters. The statue is one of the most iconic symbols of the city.
Inside Notre Dame de la Garde
Inside the basilica, visitors can admire the beautiful stained glass windows, which depict scenes from the Bible. The walls are decorated with mosaics and frescoes, and the ceiling is adorned with gold stars. There is also a crypt in the basilica, which contains the tombs of several notable figures from Marseille’s history.
Events at Notre Dame de la Garde
Every year, the basilica hosts several events, including the annual procession of the Virgin Mary. This event is held on the 8th of December, and it is attended by thousands of people. The basilica also hosts several other events throughout the year, such as concerts, festivals, and art exhibitions.
Visiting Notre Dame de la Garde
The basilica is open to visitors every day, and there is no entrance fee. Visitors can admire the stunning architecture of the basilica, as well as the views of the city from the top of the hill. The basilica is also a popular destination for pilgrims, who come to pay their respects to the Virgin Mary.
- Monday to Saturday: 8am – 6pm
- Sunday: 9am – 6pm
- By Bus: Take the bus number 19 from the Old Port to the stop ‘Notre Dame de la Garde’.
- By Car: Follow the signs to ‘Notre Dame de la Garde’ and park in the car park at the top of the hill.
- By Train: Take the train to Marseille-Saint-Charles and then take the bus number 19.