A church with a musical vocation
Notre Dame du Mont is a parish church, affiliated to the Diocese of Marseille. Located in the 6th arrondissement, the Church of Notre Dame Du Mont was built in the 16th century. But, at the same place, in the 6th century, a church dedicated to St Etienne was there. It is on this same site that the Church of Notre Dame Du Mont De Rome was later built. It was known as the Church of the Seafarers. Thus, sailors who survived a tragedy, a shipwreck, came to this place to pray. This tradition was later transferred to the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde.
During the French Revolution, in the 18th century, the Church was sold to a private individual. From then on, it changed owners several times, until May 1821, when it again became the property of the city of Marseille. Unfortunately, because the church had become too small to handle the expansion of the population, the municipality decided to demolish it and rebuild a larger one in the same place. The square on which it stands is named after it.
Construction began on April 14, 1823 and was completed in 1824. It was consecrated on February 29, 1824 by Bishop Fortuné de Mazenod.
As mentioned by the Latin inscription on the pediment of this church: Frédéric Chopin came to play there on April 24, 1839. At the time, the composer came to play the organ for the funeral of one of his friends, the famous singer Adolphe Nourrit. The story tells that at the end of the funeral, Chopin complained to the pastor and informed him that the organ was worthless and that he should sell it. As this one totally agreed with the young composer, he followed his advice. And the organ was sold to the town of Eyguières, next to Salon de Provence. But, due to its poor quality, the instrument's piping was sold. It was later designated a Historic Monument. It was not until 2007 that Pascal Quoirin, organ builder, restored it.
The musical tradition of this neighbourhood church has remained, since today it is still the site of many performances of classical music, songs and sacred music. It is a soothing place, perfect if you are looking for a place to pray in Marseille. The church gave its name to the district in which it is located.
The neo-classical style of the church has no distinctive characteristics, except the paintings on display, which are from the Convent of the Minims, destroyed during the French Revolution. Notre Dame Du Mont is a must when you are in the district of the same name. It is a relic of Marseille's history. The canton of Marseille and the Notre Dame Du Mont - Cours Julien metro station also owe their names to him.