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1214: a small chapel on a hill

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La ville de Marseille en 1214

In 1214 - year of the battle of Bouvines and of the birth of Saint Louis – a priest of Marseilles whose first name was Pierre erected a small sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary upon the rocky triangle forming the top of a 161 metre-high hill facing the town of Marseille, which was very small at the time.

La 2° chapelle de Notre-Dame de la GardeAs the hill was called «La Garde», the sanctuary quite naturally took the name «Our Lady of La Garde» So at its origin the chapel had neither apparition nor miracle; it was simply born of a priest’s devotion.

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