Basilica churches in Marseille

Notre-Dame de la Garde

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Notre-Dame de la Garde is a basilica located in Marseille, France. This ornate Neo-Byzantine church is situated at the highest natural point in Marseille, a 162 m (532 ft) limestone outcrop on the south side of the Old Port. As well as being a major local landmark, it is the site of a popular annual pilgrimage every Assumption Day (August 15). Local inhabitants commonly refer to it as la bonne mère ("the good mother").

Commissioned by Saint Charles Eugene de Mazenod, then bishop of Marseille, and designed by the architect Jacques Henri Esperandieu (1829-1874), the church was built between 1853, when the foundation stone was laid on September 11, and 1864. "The basilica was built in the 19th century in the same style as the Cathedral of Sainte Marie Majeure on the opposite side of the port." The church was built on the site of a 13th century chapel, also dedicated to Our Lady of the Watch, the traditional guardian of seafarers. It shared space atop the hill with a 16th-century fortification established for Francois I, built in 1525, whose own salamander badge is to be found within the present basilica's north porch.

The basilica is surmounted by a 60 m (197 ft) belfry topped with a huge statue of the Virgin and Child, visible across much of the city and for miles out at sea. Construction of the basilica took five years and required 170,000 tons of material, including 23 shiploads of marble and porphyry from Italy. The interior is decorated with inlaid marble, mosaics and murals. Many of the walls are covered with hundreds of ex-votos, including paintings, plaques, model boats, war medals and even football shirts given by players and supporters of Olympique de Marseille, the local football team.

Statistics

  • Main terrace
    • Altitude: 161 m (528 ft)
  • Edifice
    • Outside length: 52.2 m (171 ft)
    • Outside width: 16.8 m (55 ft)
  • Inside length of the nave: 19.6 m (64 ft)
  • Width of the central nave: 6.3 m (20 ft 8 in)
  • Main bronze doors
    • Height: 2.89 m (9 ft 6 in)
    • Width: 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
    • Weight: 1,900 kg (4,189 lb)
  • Diameter of the dome: 6.8 m (22 ft).
  • Bell tower height above the parking lot: 41 m (134 ft) to the Angels' terrace
  • Total height: 60 m (197 ft)
  • Weight of the great bell: 8,234 kg (18,153 lb)
  • Weight of the clapper: 387 kg (853 lb)
  • Virgin's statue
    • Height: 11.2 m (37 ft)
    • Height of the statue with its pedestal: 23.7 m (78 ft)
    • Weight: 9,796 kg (21,600 lb) or 21,993 lb (9,976 kg)
    • Weight with the interior structure: 16 tons[]
    • Diameter at the widest part: 3.6 m (11 ft 10 in).
    • Altitude at the top of the statue: 225.70 m (740.5 ft)
  • The Crypt
    • Length: 30.15 m (99 ft)
    • Total width: 13.6 m (45 ft)
    • Visits per year: 1.5 million

References

External links

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New York Habitat
26 September 2011
Situated at the highest natural point in Marseille, Notre Dame de la Garde provides a wonderful 360 degree view of the city, from Vieux Port to the mountains to the Mediterranean.
Ann O'Neamous
25 March 2010
Munissez vous d'un cierge (à acheter sur place) et invoquez la protection de la Bonne Mère : placez le dans le porte-cierge et observez l'homme qui parle à l'oreille des cierges remplir son office.
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Location
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Address

Montée de la Bonne Mère, 13006 Marseille, France

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Open hours
Mon-Sun 7:00 AM–7:15 PM
References

Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde on Foursquare

Notre-Dame de la Garde on Facebook

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