The Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde is undoubtedly one of the best sights of Marseilles that you should not fail to see while you are in France. This is because the distinctive basilica could really be seen as dominating the city with its pinnacle of 154 metres.
The hill that the basilica now stands on was used in the past as a lookout post and a vital city fortification, as Francois I had a fort built here in 1524. Known as the Colline de la Garde, the hill eventually became a well-known place of worship and pilgrimage when the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde was built on it. Of the Romano-Byzantine style, the basilica is topped with a gilded bronze statue of the Virgin and Child, which is considered as quite monumental and among the greatest sights of Marseilles that you can lay your eyes on. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the present basilica was designed by Esperandieu and was part of the Second Empire building work. It was consecrated in 1864.
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