The cathedrals and Saint-Laurent church

Marseille - Monument

The Old Major (Old Cathedral - registered as a National Heritage building in 1840).
The present church dates back to the middle of the 12th Century but a succession of earlier buildings had been built on the site since the 6th Century. It is a fine example of Provençal Romanesque architecture built of pinkish stone from the Couronne quarries. The bell tower was not built until the 16th Century. It was a cathedral until 1852, but continued to be used as a parish church until the 1950s. When the new cathedral was built, the vieille Major was deprived of two of its bays. During the construction work, however, the ancient Early Christian baptistery was revealed in the centre of the building with its square exterior and octagonal interior of huge dimensions (over 25 metres wide), all of which was very finely decorated. It was reburied and the New Major was built over it.
The New Major (New Cathedral) (registered as a National Heritage building in 1906).
In the 19th Century, Marseille witnessed major social, demographic and economic upheavals. A series of large-scale construction projects began and Marseille's finest buildings were erected. Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte laid the first stone of the new cathedral on 26th September 1852 and the church was consecrated on 6th May 1896. The nouvelle Major was designed by the architect Léon Vaudoyer. When he died in 1872, the building work was taken over by Henry Espérandieu, the architect who had designed Notre Dame de la Garde and the Palais Longchamp, until he in turn died in 1874. The building was finally completed by Henri Revoil. It is built in the Byzantine Romanesque style in the shape of a Latin cross with an ambulatory. The total length of the cathedral is 146 meters, the main dome is almost 70 meters high and 18 meters in diameter. Of particular interest are: the façade decorated with statues of Christ, the Apostles, Saint Peter and Saints of Provence and, inside the cathedral, fine statues of Louis Botinelly and Auguste Carly, an onyx ciborium and altars made of multicoloured marble and designed by Jules Cantini.
Saint-Laurent Church
Saint Laurent is a medium-sized church built in the Provençal Romanesque style and comprises three naves separated by square pillars. Its exact origins are uncertain but it is mentioned in a number of 13th Century documents and was known to be enclosed within the Château Babon that was destroyed in the 15th Century. Saint Laurent was the parish church of the fishermen and seafarers and is the only parish church from the Middle Ages still preserved in Marseille today. The church lost one of its bays and the oriental-style façade when the Fort Saint-Jean was built in the 17th Century. Entrance to the church is still made through the South nave. The 16th Century bell tower was rebuilt in the 17th Century. The church was pillaged and severely damaged in the Revolution but was spared from being demolished when it was transformed into a warehouse and continued to be used as such until the Concordat was agreed. Marseille considered Saint Laurent as one of its principle churches until the old quarter was destroyed in 1943. It became a National Heritage building in 1950.
After recent restoration the church, built of the pinkish stone from the quarries at Couronne, has at last regained its original beauty and become a place of worship once again.
The Sainte-Catherine Chapel adjoins the Saint Laurent Church. It was built at the beginning of the 17th Century by the White Penitents. The vaulted ceiling is decorated with liernes and tiercerons (decorative ribbing) in a late Gothic style that is unique in Marseille. A collection of interesting objects has been preserved in the chapel: a pieta (Virgin holding the body of the dead Christ) presented by the ship-caulkers of Marseille, a statue of Mary Star of the Sea and a painting of the martyrdom of Saint Laurent.

Information provided byOT Marseille

  • Contact

    13002 Marseille

  • Phone

    • 04 91 00 00 00

Nearby

  1. Etap Hôtel Marseille Timone

    Hotel

    Read more
  2. Castellane

    Holiday rental

    Read more
  3. Golden Tulip Marseille Centre Euromed

    Hotel

    Read more
  4. Fortiappart

    Holiday rental

    Read more

Where to stay

Mme Vincent
B&B

Mme Vincent

Marseille

Maison de ville agrémentée d'un jardin arboré privé dans un quartier pittoresque situé entre le centre historique, Notre-Dame de la Garde et les plages de Malmousque et du Prophète. Très bien desservie par les bus, c'est une maison très calme, paisible et silencieuse, avec accès libre…

Golden Tulip Marseille Centre Euromed
Hotel

Golden Tulip Marseille Centre Euromed

Marseille

The world may well have changed, but hotels have not. At the Golden Tulip Marseille Euromed, we have reinvented the travel experience by going back to basics, with entertainment, a wide range of services, working facilities and one or two surprises. Have we managed to pique your interest? We…

La Maison De L'eglise
Holiday rental

La Maison De L'eglise

Marseille

Cette maison de 85 m2 sur deux niveaux entièrement rénovée en 2013 est située entre le village d'Endoume et le Vallon des Auffes. Deux grandes terrasses vous permettront de profiter de la vue sur la mer ainsi que la douceur du climat méditerranéen. Au rez de chaussée les deux chambres…

New Hôtel of Marseille
Hotel

New Hôtel of Marseille

Marseille

The New Hotel Of Marseille has been built under the Saint Victor abbey and Fort Saint Nicolas. It is a 5-minute walk away from Marseille's Old Port, the city centre and the beach. Combining originality and style, its architecture boldly brings together a 19th Century building once used as the…

Le Pytheas Vieux Port
Holiday rental

Le Pytheas Vieux Port

Marseille

Grand appartement de 55 m2, au calme, en plein centre ville, à 10 mètres du Vieux Port et de son quartier animé, des transports en commun. Cuisine américaine complètement équipée, grand salon avec un canapé lit pour 2 personnes et télévision, écran plasma avec 240 chaines + DVD.…

Building Canebiere
Holiday rental

Building Canebiere

Marseille

Une expérience urbaine unique à deux pas du Vieux-Port ! Vivez l'hypercentre de Marseille de l'intérieur, comme chez vous. Idéal pour le tourisme urbain et d'affaires. Dans un immeuble de l'architecte Pouillon, patrimoine du XXe siècle sur la Canebière, le Building Canebière, est un…

Mme Mahuzier
B&B

Mme Mahuzier

Marseille

A Marseille quartier Saint-Barnabé, petit studio indépendant de la maison principale, refait à neuf, lit double, avec sa salle de douche et WC, en rez-de-chausée, sur petit jardin au calme. Parking pour la voiture dans la cour. A proximité (5mn à pied) des commerces et des bus allant au…

La Résidence du Vieux Port
Hotel

La Résidence du Vieux Port

Marseille

Ideally situated in the heart of the city, by the bustling Old Port of Marseille, the Hotel 2** Hermès is a nice place entirely renewed in spring 1999. All 28 rooms following services : • Telephone, • Private facilities (bath or shower, WC), • Colour TV, Side view or front view of the Port…

Notre Dame
Holiday rental

Notre Dame

Marseille

Appartement lumineux et entièrement rénové, quartier Vieux Port, climatisé, avec une cuisine équipée, un salon, une chambre, une douche et des toilettes.

Things to do

72% Pétanque
Souvenirs

72% Pétanque

Marseille

Savons, objets de décoration, huiles, cartes postales...au coeur du Panier.

La Compagnie de Provence
Souvenirs

La Compagnie de Provence

Marseille

Boutique de savons, art du bain, soins du corps, raffinement de la maison.

Watt Moves
Bicycle hire

Watt Moves

Marseille

Location et vente de vélos électriques : city électrique, vinage, sport et pliant. Location de scooters électriques 50 cm3.

Café Debout
Souvenirs

Café Debout

Marseille

Depuis 1932, des générations de Marseillais se succèdent au 46 rue Francis Davso. Dédiée à l’origine à la vente de "café, huile et savon", les Cafés Debout ont toujours suivi l’air du temps tout en conservant leur authenticité.

Le comptoir du Panier
Craftsman

Le comptoir du Panier

Marseille

Ce comptoir-là est bien ancré à Marseille, côté Panier. Céline Rouèche-Duvin y conçoit des t-shirts marseillais et stylés, fabriqués à l’arrière de la boutique. On choisit la couleur, le motif, la taille et en un tour de presse à chaud apparaît un modèle personnalisé qui exprime…

Floh & Co
Fashion

Floh & Co

Marseille

Très féminines, les créations de Roseline Gierlinger jouent avec les coupes, les matières et les imprimés. Les robes sont sa marotte, fleuries, dos nu, encolure goutte, façon cache-coeur. La boutique accueille également une ligne espagnole qui partage le même univers, Nice Things, et les…

Etoile Errante
Clay

Etoile Errante

Marseille

Panneaux illustrés, miroirs, art de la table en faïence brune.

Le Panorama
Museum

Le Panorama

Marseille

L’année 2013 a vu l’inauguration d’un nouvel équipement dédié à la création contemporaine. Le Panorama et plus généralement la réhabilitation de la Friche La Belle de Mai donne un nouvel élan à la place de l’art contemporain sur la ville. Un espace inédit d’art…

L'Atelier d'Agnès
Clay

L'Atelier d'Agnès

Marseille

Fortement imprégné du monde actuel, mon travail traduit un mélange où les formes et les couleurs, les textures et les matières n'ont pas de restriction. Je suis toujours en évolution dans ma création. J'ai abordé le matériau terre comme un champ du possible, un support…

Where to eat

Restaurant Péron
Food guide restaurant

Restaurant Péron

Marseille

This distinctive establishment set overlooking the sea, facing Frioul islands and Château d'If, features two teak terraces and an elegant maritime decor. Gastronomic cuisine.

La Cantine
Table 13

La Cantine

Marseille

Goods from throughout the Mediterranean were stored in this warehouse on Cours d’Estienne d’Orves in days gone by. Today, this resolutely southern "canteen" flies the flags of Spain, Italy and Corsica, with mixed platters at lunchtime and little evening dishes. And don't worry about eating in…

Les Allées Sampierro III
Table 13

Les Allées Sampierro III

Marseille

This traditional pizzeria, also serving aioli, bouillabaisse, tripes & trotters, paella and spit-roasted meats, is happy to carry the tables outside in the shade of the plane trees when the weather is fine. One of the landmarks of La Canebière, this is an eminently popular address.

Le Mina Kouk
Food guide restaurant

Le Mina Kouk

Marseille

Always packed at lunchtimes, this little Oriental eatery is a gem, serving lightweight versions of traditional beureks, couscous, pastillas and tajines. Flying from one table to another, Mina offers diners a warm welcome in a decor that can’t decide between New York at dinner time and a local…

Côté Rue
Table 13

Côté Rue

Marseille

This micro restaurant for those in the know is fronted by talented cordon bleu Chef Laure Bérardo and smiling Valérie Castellucio. In true family style, the lady chef makes her own tripes and trotters and veal olives. The dishes are eminently Provencal and plentiful, the suggestions are varied,…

Le Poulpe
Food guide restaurant

Le Poulpe

Marseille

A confirmed workaholic, Michel Portos has adopted the octopus - with eight arms and great intelligence - as his symbol. Not content with recently letting go his two-Michelin-starred restaurant (the Saint-James in Bordeaux), then setting up the Malthazar gourmet bistro, this tireless Marseille…

Le Bistrot à Vin
Food guide restaurant

Le Bistrot à Vin

Marseille

Le restaurant propose une cuisine de "grand-mère" : pieds et paquets, alouettes sans tête, seiches à la Provençale, cochonailles, roblochonade dans un décor de bistrot (poutres apparentes, affiches de collection Castellane). A midi on propose une assiette gourmande avec un verre de vin au…

La Tarraillette
Cuisine de Provence

La Tarraillette

Marseille

This is, if you will, the headquarters of Marseille's dandies, those who adore traditional dishes and fine wine. What makes this haunt special? An extraordinary wine list, with great vintages, and more than 200 varieties to take away or savour inside. Should you decide to stay, you can enjoy…

Place Lorette
Food guide restaurant

Place Lorette

Marseille

Place Lorette est située dans le quartier du Panier, à deux pas de la Vieille Charité. Lieu insolite où l’âme du XVIe siècle flirte avec un esprit oriental revisité. Vous pourrez y déguster un authentique thé à la menthe accompagné de pâtisseries fines marocaines, mais aussi vous…

Inspirations

Art de Vivre

The Calanques

Read more
Tradition

The soap

Read more
Art de vivre

The accent

Read more
More inspirations

Serving tourism

Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme is a non-profit ‘association loi 1901’ organisation.It is entrusted by the Conseil Départemental (or regional council) to promote tourism in Bouches-du-Rhône while respecting the environment and local residents, and guaranteeing visitors a top-quality experience.

The best of the destination

So that everyone’s hopes and tastes are catered for, Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme promotes must-see destinations which take visitors off the beaten track, using its deep understanding of the area and its neutral role as a non-profit organisation.