The atypical basilica of Saint-Raphaël, rising Instagram star

The atypical basilica of Saint-Raphaël, rising Instagram star
The atypical basilica of Saint-Raphaël, rising Instagram star

More than a century old, the monument is one of the centerpieces of Saint-Raphaël. Its neo-Byzantine style ensures a good number of spectators each year.

The first thing that strikes the public is its reddish appearance. The essential pink sandstone, a colorful stone from the Estérel massif, is one of the raw materials for this construction. Mixed with white limestone and other minerals, it makes this special complexion possible.

Topped with slate domes, the basilica stands 35 meters high and asserts a well-established place in the city center with its surface area of ​​850 square meters. “Often, tourists think it’s a cathedral so we correct them”laughs a stay advisor from the tourist office.

Inside, tourists are surrounded by flowery mosaics and dazzling stained glass windows pierced by the Riviera sun. Luxurious, the building brings real added value to the city.

Growing popularity

On the Instagram application, the hashtag #saintraphael is used by more than 290,000 people. Concerning most of the publications, we obviously find the Mediterranean Sea of ​​a deep blue and its broken coasts of an intense red. But recently, Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire seems to find its place on social networks…

A hashtag was even specially created for the building. Certainly less popular, it nonetheless remains very popular thanks to the numerous anonymous photos alongside the palm trees. “Gorgeous”, “grandiose”, “stunning”, “imposing”; these are the adjectives that systematically come up at the end of the visits.

Also presented by tourist suggestion accounts powered by globetrotters, some discover the monument thanks to this virtual craze.

The tourist office confirms: “It is quite flamboyant and monumental. It is the first monument that catches the eye here, even on the Internet,” notes a manager. For her, the building overlooked by a religious sculpture in gold is part of the “almost obligatory tour of the city”.

Often lit at night and animated by gospel concerts, the Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire basilica of Lepanto – that’s its full name – is tending to become a social media phenomenon in its own right.

Landmarks

The most used hashtags

#saintraphael: 290.000 publications.

#esterel: 129,000 publications.

#straphael: 81.700 publications.

#esterelcotedazur: 60,200 p.

#visitesterel: 47.900 p.

#mysaintraphael: 25.900 p.

#jaimesaintraphaël: 1.000 p.

#fiersdesaintraphael: 1.000 p.

Most followed accounts

@esterelcotedazur: 33.100 followers.

@saintraphael_tourisme: 21.000 followers.

@villesaintraphael: 18.100 followers.

Top 3 most tagged places

”Saint Raphaël”, ”Calanques de l’Estérel”, ”Le Dramont”.

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