Notre Dame de la Garde
Discover the iconic « Bonne Mère » in Marseille and its breathtaking view over all the bay.
It was in 1214 and at 149 metres that Father Peter got approval to build this Chapel dedicated to Mary on the hill at « La Garde ». In 1536 a fort was built around this Roman chapel to resist the arrival of Charles V. It was during the Renaissance that attendance considerably increased and led to the building of a second 100m² nave.
In 1853 construction of the current basilica in a Romano- Byzantine style was orchestrated by Henri Espérandieu and he carried out : flagstones in magnificent mosaic in the upper church, a square bell tower 41 metres in height and the bell. It was only in 1867, that the grandiose statue of the « Virgin to the Child » in guilt copper 11.2 metres in height was installed on its pedestal. Numerous ex-votos (offerings given in order to fulfil a vow) from a Marseille company are still displayed on the walls or hanging between the pillars. There is a truly wonderful Naive Art collection which really brings out the originality of the cathedral.
At the beginnning of the 20th century,a cable car enabled visitors to rapidly ascend to the cathedral but this stopped some 50 years ago.
Since 2001 and after seven years of renovation, the guardian and protector of the Phocaean city is today resplendent. Within the heart of the people of Marseille, the silhouette of the « Bonne Mère » is the very representation of the town, and « Oh ! Bonne Mère ! » can still be heard the whole length of the old port!
Our charming hotel in Marseille Corniche is about five minutes drive from this monument and it will welcome you warmly with a garden, a swimming pool and a restaurant.
Rue fort du sanctuaire 13006 Marseille
Tel : 04 91 13 40 80
On site : cafeteria and souvenir shop
You can take from Vieux Port either a tourist train or the N° 60 bus.
Photo : Copyright OTCM