For the past 15 years, the Virgin Mary watches over the city of Marseille, which she contemplates atop "The Guard" Hill, at 116 m above sea level. This is where Father Pierre built a premiere Marian Chapel in 1214. Transformed into a fortress in the sixteenth century, it was only in the year 1864 that the current basilica was erected, in Roman-Byzantine style. Following the construction of its tower, a decision was taken to place an 11 m tall statue of the Virgin and child there, weighing nearly 10 tonnes. Gilded with fine gold, this motherly, benevolent figure is now part of the every-day life of all of Marseille's inhabitants.