Thursday, June 25, 2009

Basilique Notre-Dame

We weren't intending on checking out any churches during out trip to Montreal, but when I read more about the things that were "must-sees" in Old Montreal, the Basilique Notre-Dame kept coming up. So it wasn't a tough choice then to include that into our things that we had to check out.

In fact, I ran by the Basilique on my first morning in Montreal. I hadn't intended to run past it but I did, and it was an awesome sight. The Basilique towered over the street and plaza in front of it and I couldn't wait to go back with my camera, which we did on Friday.

This is about the view I had as I ran past, since I was on the opposite side of a one-way street, this street actually.

I also took a picture of a large sign in front of the Basilique. I would have taken a shot of the English-language sign, but there is no such thing so I can only kind of make out a few things.

Ville-Marie, incidentally, was the original name of Montreal. Construction did begin on the Basilique in 1823 and the James O'Donnell reference is for the architect of the building. Of course, it was originally a church or cathedral and didn't achieve the status of basilica until 1982.

When we walked out to explore Old Montreal, we walked to the Basilique first. I actually craned my neck quite high to get a glimpse of the building once we were up close. Had to.

Not sure if you can see three prominent statues on the front of this building. They're difficult to see in this picture and you can kind of make them out from the first shot, but I got some up-close shots of them and put them together a bit.

If you think the outside is beautiful, the inside is a masterpiece. I couldn't get a real good wide shot of the inside unfortunately but here's a picture I found online that's pretty much what the inside is like.

Not the best shot but it fit. I pretty much stink at taking indoor shots, but I did get a couple on my own.

For all of its history, the efforts made into building it, the tourists it draws each year and the countless thousands who still worship there, the Basilique is quite famous and might be one of Montreal's most important buildings. They still hold services there every day, and those of course don't cost anything. We saw a show inside that told the history of the church and Montreal and that was only 10 bucks. It cost five to go inside and do a walkthrough and take pictures and all that.

Definitely a fantastic building and one that I feel lucky to have been able to not only see but to step foot in.