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France > Marseille > Rive Neuve > Rive Neuve travel guide

Rive Neuve Travel Guide



Rive Neuve is the quay waterfront area facing across from Vieux Port. The highlight of this waterfront area is the 19th century Notre Dame de la Garde, which towers over Marseille and encircles its horizon for miles around. This church is extravagantly designed in the neo-Byzantine style. The Notre Dame de la Garde was erected by Napoléon III and features a gargantuan gold-covered Madonna and Child on the church’s 30-feet high steeple, which is a focal point of pilgrimages made by Frenchmen in despair who come for prayer requests. Inside the chapel, you’ll find paintings and drawings ranging from 18th century to contemporary.

The Abbaye St Victor is another religious landmark in the Rive Neuve. It was originally a monastery founded in the 4th century by St Cassien, who traveled to Marseille from the Middle East bringing a host of new ideas on monasticism. This basilica church actually looks more like a fortress with its crenellated stone in Romanesque style; because it was situated outside the city walls for centuries, it was enlarged and fortified many times – its walls are almost three meters thick. The original structure was destroyed by the Saracens and had to be rebuilt in the 11th century. The interesting highlight of the Abbaye St Victor is the crypt and catacombs buried under the newer medieval church. In the nooks and crannies, you can find the 5th century sarcophagus which supposedly holds the remains of Christian martyrs, a scene that recalls the early days of Christian suffering. There are photographs displayed today of skeletons that have been exhumed. Upstairs, you can find the reliquary of the remains of St Victor, who was himself a Christian Roman soldier crushed to death between two millstones.

Another highlight of Rive Neuve is the Jardin du Pharo. A climb up this park yields a nice view of the Mediterranean, Vieux Port, and the twin fortresses of St Nicolas and St Jean.

Attraction
Notre Dame de la Garde
Abbaye St Victor
Jardin du Pharo







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Anonymous user updated 16 years ago

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