From its perch 154m above the city, the hill of the Guard is the highest natural elevation in Marseille. A listed site since 1917, its Virgin and Child protect the city and its inhabitants.
Constructed on a limestone peak 149m above sea level, the basilica straddles the districts of Roucas Blanc and Vauban. Built by Protestant architect Henri Espérandieu, the Romano-Byzantine structure, also known as the ‘Good Mother', 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 11.2m-high building, 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, another museum was added, offering fine collections of votive offerings and objects of worship.
Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica
58 rue Fort du Sanctuaire
+33 (0)4 91 13 40 80