Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde is a magnificent temple in the French city of Marseilles, which performs the function of cultural emblem of the city for decades. Incredibly beautiful an inspiring, the Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde, dominates Marseille, with no place that you can miss the top of the remarkable temple, which is marked by the spectacular statue of Mary with her Child, lined with gold. In essence, the Notre-Dame de la Garde is a Catholic church that was built in the 19th century.
The temple was erected on a 154 meters high hill, The Garde. It is assumed that, even with no archaeological or historical evidence, this elevation in today's Marseille has always had an observation post - even in prehistoric times, long before the Roman era. In the 15th century on the hill of the present Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde was already built an observation fortress, used as fortification post until 1978.
To protect the Marseille from the troops of Charles the Fifth, led by the Governor of Bourbon, the ruler Francois the first ordered the construction of the fort in 1524. So, the fort atop a hill, with the placement of a fort on a small island off the coast of the IF castle was the defense system of Marseille.
The Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde, was built in 1853 and since then it becomes an integral part of all cultural and social life in this French city. Two earlier temples preceded today's beautiful Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde. The first was built around 1241, when a priest named Pierre gets permission to build a temple on top of the hill.
At that time the territory belonged to the Abbey of Saint Victor. In the 16th century, Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde was the main prayer house of the French sailors. Since then, the Garde Hill performs the triple function of defensive fortress, observation post and a place for prayer and worship. In the 19th century, the basilica is too narrow for many pilgrims as a result, on September 11, 1853 is the first sod of today's Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde was made.
The project is the work of architect Espérandieu, who designed the Cathedral de la Major. Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde was officially consecrated on June 5, 1864. The temple was built in the time of major developments during the reign of Napoleon III. Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde was built in typical Roman-Byzantine style, is particularly impressive with its beautiful domes, colorful stone decorations, mosaics and gold ornaments.
In front of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde, there are two statues. One is the prophet Isaiah and the other is St. John. The bell of the Notre-Dame de la Garde was consecrated in 1845 and named after Maria Josephina. It weighs 8234 kg, is 2, 5 m high, with only the tongue weighing 387 kg.
The beautiful dome of the basilica ends with a striking statue of the Virgin and Child. It is made of gold, and for lining purposes are used 29 400 gold plates. The statue of the Virgin Mary is 9.70 m high and weighs 4500 kg. On June 21, 1931, in the presence of 300.000 people on the statue of the Blessed Virgin, rising to the top of the cathedral was solemnly placed a beautiful crown.
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