Notre Dame de la Garde is a seafarers' church, with models of ships hanging from the ceiling. Built in the 19th century, it was designed by Esperandieu (Hope in God), who was ironically a Protestant.
It has a mix of architectural styles, as befitting a cathedral in this city of mixed heritage and traditions. No mere carbon copy of the other cathedrals in France, this one is a unique piece of work. The inside is stunningly beautiful, and the front terrace offers some of the best views of the city.
After driving up an extremely steep hill..... did not think the bus was gonna make it. ... we got to the Basilica. There was a service in progress, and I really wished I put more effort into learning French so that I could understand what the man was saying. The Basilica dates back to 1214. Above the main altar stands a statue of Mary presenting her son to us.
Altitude of the hill=147.85m
Height of tower = 33.80m
Height of the statue = 9.72m
Weight of the statue = 9.796m
The view from the top gives you a fantastic glimse with the sea on the one side the city of Marseilles encircled by mountains on the other side.
Overlooking the city of Marseille on a steep hill, is the dominate structure of the Notre Dame de la Garde with its gold capped Statue of the Virgin Mary atop the square bell tower.
The view from the terrace is stunning overlooking the old port, much of the city of Marseille, the nearby islands and the Mediterranean Sea.and is worth the effort to get there - local bus from Vieux Port is suggested.
The interior of the cathedral is ornate and above the alter is a mosaic showing the strong links to the sea as Marseille has always been a seafarers city.
There is a small museum of model ships of almost every type and kind and a cafeteria serving a range of hot and cold food and drink at reasonable prices - however it is dining with a great view.
The crypt is "different" as those wishing to make an offering of lighted candles place them through a small window onto a moving conveyor belt. The light and heat reminded us more of a concentration camp oven rather than a place of worship and reflection - but then again maybe it was my imagination.
Alternative web site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notre-Dame_de_la_Garde
The bus 60 frm the Vieux Port is the best solution.Don't go if the mistral is blowing because it's a very heavy wind over there.
Stunning panoramic view around.
The interior of the basilica is decorated of coloured mosaics and there is a collection of exvoto on a wall.In case of having a messe you will have to wait in order to take some pictures.
If you fancy seeing Marseilles in a superb panoramic view, you could do worse than take "le petit train" up the hill behind the Vieux Port to the church Notre Dame de la Garde, known locally as "la bonne mère". For a cost of 5 euros per person, you take your place on the "train" and then get taken up the hill with an accompanying commentary in french and english. When you get to the church, you can then take in the amazing views of the city, the sea, and the archipelago of Frioul. The church itself is pretty amazing with a stunning atmosphere, if you like that sort of thing.
This ornate Neo-Byzantine church is locates atop the signal hill of La Garde, the highest natural point in Marseille, being a 162 m. At the top Our lady handles baby. Local inhabitants refer to Our lady as la bonne mère (the good mother). Truly she looks like good mother who care for all inhabitants of Marseille.
Basilica now is renovated and walls, floor and roof is decorated by mosaic. Looks really beautiful.
You can see this monument from all over, on its hilltop location. Walk up fro the Vieux Port (don't take a tour bus or one of the silly little toy trains) to appreciate the different parts of the city on the way.
Watch out for the Jardin P Puget with its waterfalls and monument to P Braille.
Further on, notice the Sherman tank, commemorating the Resistance uprising in 1944.
Panoramic views of the whole city from the top.
Church itself still bears scars of 1944 - bullet + shrapnel holes
This church is the landmark of Marseille. It is one of the highest points of Marseille (162 m) and gives you the most breathtaking panorama of the city.
The church itself consists of two chapels, one built in Neo-Romanic style and the other one in Neo-Byzantine style.
At the moment there is a lot of renovating going on, so it is not quite that nice, but the view....... aaaaahhh!
On the day I went, there wasn't that many tour busses, but I suspect it's usually pretty busy with tourists. You can walk around back though on little trails and get away from all the sightseers. And, of course, it being the highest point, you get a nice panaramic view of Marseille and the surrounding areas.
The church of Notre Dame de la Garde can be seen where ever you are in Marseille. This neo-byzantine basilica with its large golden statue of Saint Mary is situated on the signal hill of la Garde, 162 metres over the sea level.
It replaced a 13th century church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The construction of the basilica started in 1853 and the work lasted for 11 years.
My sister and I decided to see the church and admire the view from the Signal hill. It was fascinating to climb up the steep streets leading up to this magnificent monument. Reaching the summit we were amazed by the wonderful church and the stunning view over the city and its surroundings.
If you can, make the trip to Notre Dame de la Garde into your own little pilgrimage. Reaching the top is nothing less than a religious experience.
This church is located on a hill in the city and the climb from the old port to the church can be a bit strenuous and takes at least ½ - ¾ hour. You can also opt to go there by car. Plenty of free parking space is available in the area around the church.
The Notre Dame de la Garde is a basilica with a crypt underneath and was built in roman-byzantin style between 1853 – 1870. On top of the tower stands a nearly 10 metres high gold foil statue of the Holy Virgin. Many people come here to ask the Holy Virgin for protection, which can be clearly seen everywhere inside.
But the most exciting thing to do when you are up on the hill of "Notre Dame de la Garde" is to enjoy the distant and panoramic view in all directions.
To close the blue tour "Corniche / Notre Dame de la Garde", I suggest to pass St Victor Abbey, a place we missed.
In 1214 a chapel was built at the top of the hill "de la Garde". In 1525, Francois 1 requested to build a fort to defend the city, enclosing the chapel. From 1853 till 1864, a basilic was constructed (Architect Espérandieu). The imponent statue (9.7m, more than 9 tons, sculptor Lequesne) was placed in 1870.
Mention the drawbridge to enter the basilica.
At the end of Chemin du Vallon de l'Oriol (becomes a stairway: no car!), take Boulevard Am?d?e Autran and then Chemin du Roucas blanc. You will then climb until the top of the hill to reach 154m of elevation above the sea level. The view towards the cathedral is beautiful but look back from time to time to see the growing panoramic view.
Notre Dame de la Garde is a main sea-mark. When you see this pictures that shows the landscape seen from several miles away, you can easily understand. It is the first thing that the sailor will see when arriving towards the coast and it cannot be mistaken.