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Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, Marseille

Place du Colonel Edon
France 13007
Tel: 33 4 91 13 40 80's insider take:

Towering on the highest point of the city, 532 feet above the harbor, the neo-Byzantine Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde was originally built as a small chapel in the 12th century and later expanded into a basilica during the 19th century. How Notre Dame looks, however, is far less important than what it represents to the sea-centric people of Marseille. Known affectionately as La Bonne Mère ("The Good Mother"), the church is a repository for sailors' votive offerings, many of them quite touching. Atop the belfry, a 36-foot gold statue of the Virgin Mary watches over the Vieux Port and city of Marseille. The car or trolley ride to the basilica is worth the trip alone, as it passes through a gracious neighborhood and offers stunning views over the city and the Mediterranean beyond. The Office du Tourisme has the timetable of the Petit Train de la Bonne Mère.

Open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.