- Travel and Places»
- Visiting North America
Highlights of Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica: A Family Day Trip in Canada
A Grand Church in the Old World Fashion!
The Notre-Dame Basilica in the Vieux-Montreal section of the city is well worth a visit, as it is considered one of the grandest churches in North America. Completed in 1829, The building's Gothic Revival style makes it feel like it should be in Paris or a French city, not in the New World. The twin 228-foot towers wouldn't be out of place against a Parisian skyline, and once inside the basilica you really feel like you stepped into another world.
Please note that there is an entrance fee to help maintain the building, and that you can't tour the entire place during Mass or weddings. There are guided tours available. We walked around by ourselves instead of taking a tour, and spent about an hour looking at things.
The photos here are by us unless otherwise noted.
Stars Above and Beautiful Stained Glass
Inside the Main Church
The first thing that jumped out when we entered the building was the ceiling, which is blue with seemingly tens of thousands of 24-Karat gold stars. The view is amazing, and reminded me more of a palatial ceiling than a church.
The main altar is lavish, with statues set to either side and plenty of side areas for you to view. One of the more interesting aspects to the building is that the stained glass panels aren't biblical scenes like in many churches. Instead they are scenes of Montreal's religious history, and looking at them you really get the sense of just how important religion was in the early days of the city.
The panel here shows the city's first Mass, which occurred in 1642.
The Modern Chapel Behind the Altar
Love it or Hate It, It Is Memorable
Behind the main altar is the Chapel of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, and what a contrast it offers. The original chapel had been destroyed by fire in 1978, and the rebuilt one is way too modern for me.
Shown here is the large bronze mantelpiece by Quebec sculptor Charles Daudelin. Consisting of 32 panels, the artwork is 16 feet by 25 feet and weighs 20 tons. It is huge and overwhelms the room.
The basilica's website says the piece represents mankind's march toward God, but I just thought it looked ugly in contrast to the main building. Most tour literature says it is a ''love it or hate it'' piece of art, and I'm guessing most people come down on the ''hate it'' side.
See below for a close-up photo of one of the panels.
Video of the Basilica
Have You Ever Been to the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal?
A Close-Up Lookof the Chapel's Bronze Mantelpiece
A Video Tour of the Basilica For You
For More Information
Inside the Main Area of the Basilica
Visiting Montreal - Reviews to Help You Plan a Trip to the Canadian City!
Top Things to do in Montreal: Highlights of a Family Vacation
Montreal, the largest French-speaking city in the Canadian province of Quebec, was chosen as the site of our Spring Break family vacation this year. My daugh...
Montreal's Biosphere: An Environmental Museum in a Geodesic Dome!
The biosphere is a museum dedicated to increasing public awareness of the environmental issues facing the world today. It does this by mixing a lot of inform...
Montreal's Museum Of the First Canadian Female Saint: Marguerite Bourgeoys and Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel
French-born Marguerite Bourgeoys arrived in Montreal in 1653, when the Canadian city had about 50 inhabitants, and persuaded them to build the city's first s...
Highlights of Montreal's History Museum, the Musee du Chateau Ramezay
The Musee du Chateau Ramezay is located close to the center of the Old Montreal section, which makes sense since it is housed in a home built in 1705 by the ...
Highlights of Montreal's Science Center
Montreal's Science Center will keep any child entertained and busy for hours! There are plenty of activities and experiments for a child to do, and all have ...
Nova Scotia, Land of Whale Watching and Outdoor Beauty! - Articles to Help You Plan a Visit to the Province in Canada!
Things to Do in Nova Scotia: Highlights of Our Family Vacation
Nova Scotia offered our family a good mix of what we seek when we go away on vacation. There's beautiful scenery to hike through, historical and cultural sit...
Top Five Travel Tips For Tourists Going to Nova Scotia
Our family recently visited Nova Scotia, which a wonderful place that has a wide variety of things to do for everyone. We wrote an online diary of the trip, ...
Above the Doorway in Our Lady of Sacred Heart Chapel
Gettysburg, Thomas Edison's Lab and the Frick Collection! - Reviews of Pennsylvania/New Jersey/New York Sights to See!
Gettysburg Battlefield Museum: A Pennsylvania Family Day Trip
The Gettysburg Visitor Center and Museum, located in the Gettysburg National Military Park, is the best place to start any visit to the Civil War battlefield...
Thomas Edison House Glenmont: A New Jersey Family Day Trip!
Thomas Edison, one of America's greatest inventors, lived for more than four decades in a 29-room mansion called Glenmont in the exclusive Llewellyn Park nei...
Thomas Edison's Laboratory: A New Jersey Family Day Trip!
The Thomas Edison laboratory in New Jersey is a great family day trip. Edison was the inventor of the first practical electric bulb, the motion picture camer...
Highlights of the Frick Collection in New York City
The Frick Collection is an art museum in Manhattan's Upper East Side, and is world-famous for its collection of Old Master paintings. Included in the collect...
Ford's Theatre, National Portrait Gallery and the National Zoo! - Reviews of Places to Visit in Washington D.C.
Highlights of The National Zoo: A Washington D.C. Family Day Trip
The Smithsonian National Zoological Park, commonly known as the National Zoo, is a great place to take the kids when they need a break from all the monuments...
Highlights of the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery are located in the same building, and are officially called the Donald W. Reynolds Cent...
Highlights of the Library of Congress: Thomas Jefferson, Bob Hope and the Gutenberg Bible!
The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, photographs, maps and other items in its collection. The Thomas Jefferso...
Renoir and Highlights of the Phillips Collection: A Washington D.C. Family Day Trip
The Phillips Collection opened in 1921 as America's first museum of modern art, and it is still considered one of the premiere places to see such masterpiece...
Highlights of the National Museum of American History: A Washington D.C. Family Day Trip
The National Museum of American History in the heart of Washington D.C. is one of those places that can really capture the attention of every member of the f...
Ford's Theatre, Where Lincoln Was Assassinated: A Washington D.C. Family Day Trip
Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C. was the scene of America's greatest tragedy. On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln, having successfully guided the c...
Highlights of the National Gallery of Art: A Washington Family Day Trip
The National Gallery of Art is located on the National Mall in Washington D.C., and is a great change of pace from the many museums that are nearby. The pain...
Fort McHenry and Geppi's Entertainment Museum! - Baltimore-Area Places to Visit!
Geppi's Entertainment Museum in Baltimore: A Tourist's Guide to Comic Book Heaven!
Geppi's Entertainment Museum is located in Baltimore and is dedicated to all sorts of American pop culture: comic books, television, radio, movies, magazines...
Highlights of Fort McHenry, Birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is a great place to visit, full of inspiring history, lovely grounds and cool views. It's also a place to ...
Moon Baltimore Book Review: A Great Little Tourist Guide!
We used this guidebook for a long weekend in Baltimore, and never felt the need to consult any other tour books or seek out more information from the Baltimo...
Of Family Vacations and Comic Books
For more on who we are and what we write about, please see here:
Of Comic Books and Family Vacations: Who is GoldenRuleComics?
Who is GoldenRuleComics? Actually, the better question is who ARE GoldenRuleComics! I am the father of a teenage daughter, and we live in New Jersey. I hand...
I hope you enjoyed reading this review as much as we enjoyed our travels and writing it. Now it's your turn!
Thanks for visiting!