Detail, first cupola, Notre Dame de la Garde, Marseille

The ornate gold mosaic is typical of (Neo) Byzantine architecture, which was popular during the mid-late 19th century; cf London’s Westminster cathedral.

Notre Dame de la Garde (Our Lady of the Keeper) dominates the city’s skyline and is known fondly by the locals as la bonne mère.

Consecrated in 1864, it predates London’s basilica by around forty years, and is in considerably better condition.

Fine images of the cupola and interpretations of the biblical images intersecting the arches can be found on the Wikipedia entry for Notre Dame de la Garde.

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