Cathedral de la Major Marseille
The Cathedral de la Major Marseille France is one of the most important national monuments in France. Its full name in French is the Cathedrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure de Marseille. The cathedral received the designation of basilica minor from the Roman Catholic Church in 1896 and is currently the seat of the Archdiocese of Marseille. The Marseille Cathedral that we see today was constructed primarily between 1852 and 1896 on a site that had been used for various cathedrals in the city of Marseille as long ago as the fifth century.
The current cathedral is referred to as the Nouvelle Major, and for good reason. Today’s Marseille Cathedral makes even the largest portion of the remaining old cathedral (the Vielle Major) look puny. Even as this is one of the most important churches and historical monuments in the country, it is not the most famous church in Marseille; that distinction goes to the neo-Byzantine Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde, located in the Vieux Port.
The Cathedrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure de Marseille is the oldest church in the entire city. This is just one of the reasons that it remains one of the top attractions in Marseille year after year. A huge appeal of the church is quite obviously the breathtaking blend of the exterior of Byzantine and Romanesque architecture. When viewed alongside the remains of the old cathedral, you can really capture a sense of the progression and development of the architectural conventions of the day. The Cathedral de la Major Marseille France was considered to be among the finest examples of this kind of architecture at the time that it was built in the middle part of the nineteenth century. Its proportions are impressively comparable to those of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It is nearly 470 feet long and the front towers reach nearly 200 feet. The central dome is perhaps the most impressive and the most beautiful aspect of the entire Marseille Cathedral (it is 231-feet tall).
There are a wide variety of things to do in Marseille, and it is tempting to spend all of your time at the amazing restaurants, cafes, clubs, and bars, not to mention the countless boutiques and markets. To get the most out of your vacation to Marseille, you should however consider giving yourself the full treatment, which includes sightseeing and checking out the top attractions in the city. In Marseille, this experience will certainly not disappoint. As the oldest city in France, Marseille has much to offer in the way of cultural heritage and history, and has had plenty of time to develop into the popular tourist destination that it is today. The Cathedrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure de Marseille is just one (albeit amazing) of the top attractions in Marseille. The aforementioned Notre Dame de la Garde, the Palais Longchamp, and the expansive Parc Borely are all sights well worth putting near the top of your list of attractions to visit.
The Cathedral de la Major Marseille France is a great place to start your exploration of the city. It is within close proximity of many of the other attractions in town and is easily accessed using a bus, car, or the metro Joliette. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. during the spring and summer, and 9 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the winter. It is closed on Monday.