The building of the church and the adjacent convent began in 1295. It is now the only large Gothic church in Provence.
It was not until 1279 that excavations were undertaken under the "oratory" of St. Maximin. After the discovery of the body of Mary Magdalene and the official recognition of these relics in 1281, Charles II of Anjou, Count of Provence, decided, with the approval and encouragement of Pope Boniface VIII, to build a magnificent basilica in the honor of Mary Magdalene.
It stands high above many of the other buildings that surround it in the town of St Maxime la St Baume and can be seen from far out in the countryside.
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