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Part of the earlier, much smaller cathedral still remains, alongside the new cathedral. It was built in the 12th century in a simple romanesque style. Two bays of the nave were demolished in the 1850s, when the new cathedral was built. What remains is the choir and one bay of the nave. It is commonly referred to as the "Vieille Major". The composer Charles Desmazures was organist at the old cathedral.
The present cathedral, the "Nouvelle Major", was built on an enormous scale in Byzantine-Roman style from 1852 to 1896 on the site used for the cathedrals of Marseille since the fifth century, principally by the architects Léon Vaudoyer and Henri-Jacques Espérandieu (1829-1874). It is 146 meters long, and the main cupola is 70 meters high.