History and museums
Marseille Cathedral (Cathédrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure de Marseille or Cathédrale de la Major) is a Roman Catholic cathedral, and a national monument of France, located in Marseille. It has been a basilica minor since 1896. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Marseille (formerly the Diocese of Marseille until its elevation in 1948).
Part of the earlier, much smaller cathedral still remains, alongside the new cathedral. It was built in the 12th century in a simple romanesque style. Two bays of the nave were demolished in the 1850s, when the new cathedral was built. What remains is the choir and one bay of the nave. It is commonly referred to as the "Vieille Major". The composer Charles Desmazures was organist at the old cathedral.
The present cathedral, the "Nouvelle Major", was built on an enormous scale in Byzantine-Roman style from 1852 to 1896 on the site used for the cathedrals of Marseille since the fifth century, principally by the architects Léon Vaudoyer and Henri-Jacques Espérandieu (1829-1874). It is 142 meters (469 ft) long, and the main cupola is 70 meters (231 ft) high. With a capacity of 3,000 seats, it is one of the largest cathedrals in France.