On the high limestone peak sits la bonne mère, ‘the good mother’, keeping watch over the Bay of Marseille. The Basillica of Our Lady of the Guard, is traditionally seen as the guardian and protector of the city and has a long history as a chapel, a fort, a place of worship and a religious sanctuary.
We made the long walk up from the Old Port to her door. The Catholic Basilica offers a breathtaking view over the city, the low rocky mountain ranges and the open blue bay. The Byzantine and Romanesque influenced architecture are just as entrancing. Inside, mosaics line the walls and direct your attention to the ornate ceilings.
Visiting Notre Dame de la Garde, you can’t help but feel in awe, but the place also invites introspection. We spent some time in the cool of the church, reflecting, praying and being thankful for the wonderful experiences France had offered us as we traveled.