Notre-Dame de la Garde: the ‘Good Mother' watches over Marseilles

Notre-Dame de la Garde: the ‘Good Mother' watches over Marseilles

The Basilica of Marseilles is a place of pilgrimage, where your body and soul will make contact with the heavens.

From its perch 154 metres above the city, the hill of the Guard is the highest natural elevation in Marseilles. A listed site since 1917, its Virgin and Child protect the city and its inhabitants.

Constructed on a limestone peak 149 metres above sea level, the basilica straddles the districts of Roucas Blanc and Vauban. Built by Protestant architect Henri Espérandieu, the Romano-Byzantine structure has two parts: a Roman-style crypt dug in the rock and a mosaic-decorated church. At the top stands the Virgin and Child. This monumental work of 11.2 metres, designed by Eugene Lequesne, was crafted in gilded copper covered with gold leaves in the famous workshops of Christofle.

To visit the ‘Good Mother', you either take the rather steep road lined with pine trees, or the funicular directly to the steps of the monument. The views are breath-taking. In 2013, a new museum was added, offering fine collections of votive offerings and objects of worship.

Notre-Dame de la Garde
Rue Fort du Sanctuaire
13281 Marseille

+33 (0)4 88 91 46 00