Our Lady of Safe Harbour

On our travels to the South of France every year, I discovered a beautiful little church many years ago. It’s a very small 11th century church, with a 4th century chapel, and miracles are said to have happened there. There is a book where you can write your name (or that of someone you love and care about), if you wish them to pray for you, or are hoping for a miracle.

It’s a very simple stone church, with a lovely altar, and a second altar with a statue of St. Mary holding a ship in her hand. Sailors are said to have gone there for centuries, praying to be safe at sea, or their wives, praying for their safe return. The church is called Notre Dame de la Garoupe, or Notre Dame de Bon Port (Our Lady of Safe Harbour). And it sits high on a hill overlooking the whole Coastline of the south of France. It sits above Cap d’Antibes. And I happened on it purely by accident many years ago, and fell in love with it immediately. There is an enormous feeling of peace inside, and outside locals sit at little tables, drinking lemonade or eating ice cream, looking at the incredibly beautiful view. I always have a feeling that good things happened there, and continue to do so. (It would be a gorgeous place to get married, in a simple ceremony).

One of the things I love about it is that on the walls, people have attached framed messages of thanks for the miracles they have experienced as a result of their prayers there. Some are engraved in marble, or wood, or simply written or painted and framed. One of my favorites is from a man in the 16th century, thanking for his successful escape from prison, and the good life he had thereafter. That one always makes me smile.

I go there every year, and if you’re in the area, I highly recommend it as a tourist spot (it’s undiscovered), for the spectacular view, the feeling of peace and warmth if you worship there, or just for the good vibes. I make a point of going to that little church on our summer vacation every year, and wanted to share it with you.

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9 Comments so far
  1. Gabriela September 1, 2009 8:10 pm

    Whenever I visit a place I have never been to, chapel, monastery and churches are the first “spots” I must see. Thank you so much for sharing this info w/us. I hope to visit France one day & Notre Dame de la Garoupe will be 1st to see on my list!
    Once again, thank you again.

  2. Kimberly September 2, 2009 6:16 pm

    Nice… Thank you for sharing…

  3. Nicole September 4, 2009 3:05 am

    Dear Danielle you should really consider perhaps writing a book on French Fashion style advice. You having lived in both sides of the Atlantic and having grown up in Paris are certainly so much better qualified to give us some tips on style then the so many abundent authors on Amazon.

    Please give it some thought perhaps a project with your daughters? A bestseller for sure like everything you touch.

  4. Manuela September 4, 2009 3:19 pm

    It sounds like a place I would love to visit. So often in these days of trial and tribulation, finding a place of God’s peace, quiet and worship is all you need to restore your hope and focus. Especially one as steeped in history as the lovely little locale you write about. I just spiritually wrote my family and loved ones names on that wall…because I still believe in miracles.

    Thanks for sharing. If I ever get to France, I’m there!

  5. Patricia McLane September 5, 2009 10:57 am

    I am going to France next year. Would you mind telling me where this Church is located. I have a daughter with Leukemia snd I would love to visit this amazing place. Thanks, Patti

  6. kimmi September 5, 2009 7:18 pm

    It sounds lovely.

  7. Shalini Saigal Taneja September 7, 2009 3:38 am

    It sounds beautiful as you describe it!!

  8. Joann September 8, 2009 2:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing this on your blog. When I do go to the south of France I will make it a point to visit this church. j~

  9. Maggie Smith November 23, 2009 9:37 pm

    I found this church in 1973 and was awe inspired. It was a wonderful experience.
    Vacationing in the south of France every year after that, we always looked for this little church and could never again find it. We were beginning to believe we may have just imagined it. If anyone can give me directions to this unique church it would be greatly appreciated.