It was built in the 5th century by the Greeks and later expanded upon by the Romans. The church is dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, and has been an important place of worship for centuries.
The main building of Saint Mary Major is made up of three parts: the nave, transepts, and apse. The nave was originally constructed in the 5th century but was later renovated with Renaissance-style features such as columns and arches. Inside, you can find several sculptures depicting religious scenes from both Greek mythology and Christian faith.
The most prominent feature of the church are its two bell towers, which stand at either side of the entranceway. These were added during renovations in 1625 when they were rebuilt using pink marble from nearby quarries near Mount Ventoux. In addition to these towers there are also four chapels surrounding Saint Mary Major which each have their own unique style that reflects different eras throughout history including Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture styles.
One interesting fact about Saint Mary Major is that it houses one of only five remaining pieces from Michelangelo’s Pietà sculpture series – a fragment known as “La Petite Pietà” or “Little Pietà” which dates back to 1550 AD. This fragment can be found inside one of the chapels on display for visitors to admire today.
Aside from being an impressive sightseeing destination for tourists visiting Marseille, Saint Mary Major also serves as a popular pilgrimage spot due to its long history associated with Christianity. Every year, thousands flock here from all over Europe to take part in religious ceremonies held within its walls.
Overall, Saint Mary Major is truly a remarkable example of French history preserved through time.