Marseille’s iconic figure, Notre-Dame de la Garde or “La Bonne Mère” watches over sailors, fishermen and the entire city. Visit this place and enjoy the views from the top of the hill during your stay in Marseille. Garde Hill thus has three roles: a surveillance post, a military structure and a cult and pilgrimage site.
Garde Hill (154m) has always been an observation post. A ruling by Charles II d’Anjou listed Garde Hill as a post house in the 15th century.
This surveillance system improved over the years and the hill retained this role until 1978.
You can still see the fort acting as a foundation for the current basilica and the King’s emblem above the northern entrance: the Salamander.There were several chapels here before it was built.
There’s a large statue of the Virgin Mary on the bell tower.
It was made by the sculptor Lequesne in bronze with gold leaf in the Christofle studios in Paris and put in place in September 1870
Marks of World War II. In August 1944, Notre-Dame de la Garde liberated from German occupation.
At that time, German troops located in Marseille, were heavy fire at the basilica. The lower part of the tower was struck by shrapnel and was close to collapsing. You can still see some damage on some of the walls of the basilica.