Cathedrale de la Major

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●   Churches
●   Churches

In the second arrondissement of Marseille, close to the 'Vieux Port' and sandwiched in-between the neighborhoods of 'Panier' and 'Joliette' is where you'll find the cathedral of La Major (Old Port).

The Romano-Byzantine Cathedral, located close to the Mucem, provides a striking visual contrast to the modern building directly opposite it.

Locals of Marseille come here to pray and reflect, as well as tourists from all over the world because the cathedral's interior is so breathtakingly beautiful and contains significant religious relics.


  • Discover the history behind this symbol that is associated with Marseilles:

Byzantine architecture was used in its construction, making it one of France's largest churches. It was built during the same time, 1852-1893 when Marseille was serving as France's first port and as a stop for ships coming from all over the world. This period spanned 40 years.

Because of its magnificent dimensions, comparable to those of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, can accommodate up to 3,000 people!

This extravagance was carried out to demonstrate the power of the Phocaean city, which was visible from the water.

One of the symbols of Marseille is the Cathedral of the Major because of its singularity and representation of the city as a whole in terms of its political and economic power.

  • Take in the breathtaking panoramas from this vantage point, which offers sweeping views in every direction:

The Romanesque and Byzantine architecture of this building was inspired by the design of eastern churches. It has a striped facade made of stones of varying colors, as well as ornate domes and cupolas.

The cathedral, which can be found in the historic district known as Le Panier, provides visitors with breathtaking vistas of the port of Marseille.

  • Explore the collection of buildings that are known collectively as the La Major:

The Cathedral of La Major was created by merging two churches, the old Major and the new Major, to create a larger structure.

It is located on an esplanade close to the base of the original Marseille, near the port entrance. Since the fourth century, religious structures have been built there.

Its structure comprises a choir, a vault topped with a dome, and a half dome. In the 14th century, a bell tower was constructed on the property.

  • Be influenced by the influx of versatility in style and pattern play:

The Major opens a cultural door to the East by fusing Roman and Oriental techniques, and there are also bell towers and domes in the design.

As soon as you step inside, you'll be able to admire the building's magnificent mosaics, Byzantine arcades, and distinctive architecture.

Materials such as white Carrara marble, porphyry, onyx from Italy and Tunisia, mosaics from Venice, and green stones from Florence were chosen because they provide a balance to excess.

Below the arches are depictions of seven different statues of Jesus, three of his apostles (Peter, Paul, and Lazarus), and three of his disciples (Martha, Maximin, and Mary Magdalene).

On the esplanade stands a statue of Monsignor de Belsunce, a historical figure who lived during the Great Plague in 1720.

  • imageDuration Required
    1 hour

Address of Cathedrale de la Major

Place de la Major, Marseille, France

Opening & Closing time of Cathedrale de la Major

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