The Notre-Dame Basilica (Basilique Notre-Dame in French) is one of Montreal’s landmark churches and one of the most beautiful churches in North America. Located in Old Montreal, the Notre-Dame Basilica features a Neo-Gothic style. It was opened in 1829 and was built to replace the original Notre-Dame church, which has since been demolished. The Notre-Dame Basilica is one of the most stunning examples of Old Montreal’s Catholic Heritage. The Notre-Dame Church was raised to the status of basilica by Pope John Paul II during a visit to Montreal in 1982.The Notre-Dame Basilica features some of the most impressive architecture that you can find in all of Montreal.
Architecture of the Notre-Dame Basilica
The first thing to notice about the Notre-Dame Bascilica is its architectural splendor. The Notre-Dame Basilica is located on a site where a church has existed almost since the founding of the city of Montreal in the 17th century. The current building was created during the 19th century with a renovated interior that dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. Inspired by the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, its interior is mostly blue and gold with magnificent detailing on the pillars and vaulted ceiling. The East and West towers of the Basilica are called “Temperance” and “Perseverance”.
Features of the Notre-Dame Basilica
The Notre-Dame Basilica is an impressive and beautiful church. Some of the features of the Notre-Dame Basilica include a vaulted ceiling with thousands of 24-karat gold stars, detailed stained-glass windows telling the history of Montreal, life-size wood carvings, and a pipe organ with more than 7000 pipes.
Notre-Dame de Sacré-Coeur Chapel
Notre-Dame de Sacré-Coeur is the small chapel located behind the Basilica. This chapel was rebuilt in 1980 after a major fire destroyed the chapel in 1978. The Sacré-Coeur chapel is bright and sunny, which is quite a contrast to the Basilica which is quite dark with an alter that glows blue and gold.
Events at the Notre-Dame Basilica
Many of Montreal’s celebrities have had their weddings and funerals at the Notre-Dame Basilica. Some of these celebrity events include the funeral of hockey legend, Maurice “Rocket” Richard, the wedding of Celine Dion and the funeral of including former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Various concerts & musical performances are held at the Basilica on a regular basis. It is one of Montreal’s most recognizable landmarks along with the St. Joseph’s Oratory. There is an admission fee to the Notre-Dame Basilica.
The Notre-Dame Basilica Light Show
The treasures of the Notre-Dame Basilica are a pleasure to behold, both inside and outside. In the evening the lights of the Basilica light up the night in a stunning display known as Et La Lumiere Fut (Then there was Light).