This beautiful church was built as part of the plans by Mayor Felix Martin to "transform" St Raphael into a more attractive town for people to live in and tourist resort. Abbot Bernard commissioned the project to architect Pierre Aublé, who took inspiration in the church of Saint Sophie in Istanbul.
Inaugurated in 1887, it was named in honour of the famous Lepanto sea battle in 1571, when the Holy League defeated the fleet of the Ottoman Empire (and where famous Spanish writer Cervantes, author of Don Quijote, lost his hand). The Vatican elevated it to the rank of Basilica in 2004.
Created with a mixture of Byzantine style, Moorish influence and inspired by the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, the church is a very striking building in the centre of St Raphael. Built mostly in pink sandstone from the Esterel mountain range, it covers an area on 950 square metres and at its highest point is 35 metres tall. On its façade there is a statue of the archangel Saint Raphael, protector of the town
Masses are said regularly, and the active parish surrounding this church hosts aperitifs following special Sunday celebrations.
- 19 rue Jean Aicard