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Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille

Notre-Dame de la Garde is a basilica located in Marseille, France. This ornate Neo-Byzantine church sits atop the signal hill of La Garde, the highest natural point in Marseille, being a 162 m (532 ft) limestone outcrop on the south side of the Vieux Port. As well as being a major local landmark, it is the site of a popular annual pilgrimage every August 15th (Assumption). 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 site was a 13th century chapel also dedicated to Our Lady of the Guard, filled with the ex-votos of safely returned sailors. 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.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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