Marseille Cathedral (Cathédrale La Major)
A listed French National Monument and seat of the Archdiocese of Marseille, the Marseille Cathedral is also one of the largest churches in France. With its scale, its green-and-white stripes, and its harborside position, it makes for an impressive spectacle (even if the lofty Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde—also known as La Bonne Mère— gets the lion’s share of the attention). Designed by architects Léon Vaudoyer, Henri-Jacques Espérandieu, and Henri Antoine Révoil, the cathedral debuted in 1896, though various churches have occupied the site since the 12th century.
The Marseille Cathedral is featured on an array of city sightseeing tours, including half- and full-day Marseille excursions, bike tours, neighborhood walking tours, and more.
Things to know before you go
- During your visit, don’t forget to glimpse the remains of Marseille’s old cathedral—the “Vieille Major”—next to the newer iteration.
- Don’t forget to head inside: the cathedral’s interior is decorated with mosaics, statues, and other Byzantine-inspired flourishes.
- The cathedral is free for all to visit; please dress respectfully.
How to get there
The Marseille Cathedral is located in the city’s 2nd arrondissement, just overlooking the Mediterranean. If using public transportation, take the Métro line 2—or T1 or T2 tram lines—to Joliette station, which is just a few minutes from the cathedral on foot. The landmark is also served by numerous bus lines, including the 49, 82, 82S, and 582, and can be reached on foot, by bike, or by taxi.
When to get there
The Marseille Cathedral is open to visitors every day of the week except Monday, from 10am–7pm. If you plan to visit during services, explore quietly so as not to disturb worshippers.
Conveniently for sightseers, the Marseille Cathedral is located in the city’s lively 2nd arrondissement, just steps from many other top attractions. After stopping by, continue your excursions to the cutting-edge MUCEM (Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean), admire the centuries-old Fort Saint-Jean, explore the picturesque streets of the Panier District (Marseille’s oldest neighborhood), and more.
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- Museum of African, Oceanic and American-Indian Art (MAAOA)
- Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology (Musée d’Archéologie Méditerranéenne)
- Centre de la Vieille Charite
- Roman Docks Museum (Musée des Docks Romains)
- Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (Le Mucem)
- Fort Saint-Jean
- Old Port of Marseille (Vieux Port)
- Marseille Cruise Port (Terminal Croisières Marseille)
- Palais du Pharo
- Chateau d'If
- Marseille History Museum (Musee d'Histoire)
- Maritime and Commercial Museum of Marseille (Musée de la Marine et de l'Economie de Marseille)
- Place aux Huiles
- Abbey of St. Victor (Abbaye Saint-Victor)
- La Canebiere