Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Montreal's Old Port

Part of Montreal's charm was the old buildings. Born and bred in Southern California, I haven't exactly been around places that were established in the 1800s or 1700s. We do have some missions out here that have some history but that's about the extent of it. So being in a building or walking past a building that was built more than 200 years ago was intriguing and a bit humbling. Made me feel kind of inconsequential at times, as if so many people throughout history had passed through the very spot I was standing/walking that my presence there was nothing.

One of the buildings that most intrigued me was this one.

This is the chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (or the Our Lady of Good Help). It sits right on the Old Port. There is a street in front of it, the Rue De la Commune, and then couple dozen meters before you hit the water. The church was originally built in 1655, but it was mostly destroyed in a fire.

It's also dubbed the Sailors' Church because back in the day as ships pulled into the harbor, one of the first things the sailors saw was this church, and the Virgin helped usher in the sailors to port. Gracious sailors supposedly left her offerings and prayed upon arriving for having helped them arrive in port safely.

Here's a link to the museum web site. We actually didn't go inside the museum to visit it but only because we were busy visiting other museums and just walking around.

We did go inside the Marche Bonsecours, or the Bonsecours Market.

This place was built in the mid-1800s and has been a government building, a farmers market and a general marketplace, which is what it is today. The inside is kind of drab looking but there are a lot of awesome stores in there that sell some really cool stuff. A lot of art pieces that were way outside of our budget. I had a really good cup of espresso in there though.

Also, there was this building that was intriguing, the old Customs House.

I think this was built sometime in the early 1800s as well, though I'm not certain. This used to be the place where visitors would have to pass through customs upon arriving in Montreal. Not sure what it is today except for a cool background for a picture.

Anyway, you could spend a lot of time in Old Montreal and the Old Port. The only thing we really did outside these two areas was our trip to Parc du Mont-Royal because there was plenty to see in the Old Port...

... or the Vieux-Port, I guess.


Lissaloo said...

what great pictures, it sounds like a neat place to visit :)

Angie Eats Peace said...

What amazing architecture!

Gracey said...

I loved your post and pics. Thanks for sharing!

Willoughby said...

Beautiful buildings. Did you have any trouble getting around the city without knowing French?