Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Basilica’s interiors are a feast for the eyes, once seen, never forgotten. Delight in the dazzling combination of blue and gold colors, intricate wooden carvings, statues and stained glass windows throughout.
The Main Nave
As you explore the Basilica’s main nave, delight in the intricate details that can be seen throughout. Devised by Curé Rousselot, the sanctuary’s decorative theme was meant to illustrate the true meaning and significance of the sacrament of the Mass and the Eucharist.
At the center of the Basilica’s main nave is its great altar which depicts the crucifixion of Christ, the Blessed Virgin and Saint John on either side of him. Surrounding the altar’s centerpiece are four themes from the Old Testament that prefigure the sacrifice of the Cross and the Mass. Above the altar is a representation of Calvary and underneath an image of the Last Super can be scene, a magnificent wood sculpture based on Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mural.
One of the Basilica’s great ornaments, the pulpit was once the place where the priest would deliver his sermon. Above on the skirting of the pulpit, a series of small statues can be seen which represent Christ seated and teaching. Beneath the canopy you’ll see a dove, symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Completing the pulpit is a statue of a young woman representing faith. She holds a cross in one hand and a chalice in the other.
The Great Casavant Organ
Towering over the choir loft is the Great Casavant Organ. Built in 1891 by the firm of Casavant et Frères of Saint-Hyacinthe, the organ has undergone several restorations and is now in the hands of Pierre Grandmaison who has been the titular organist of the Basilica since 1973.
Stained Glass Windows
Marking the centenary celebration, new stained glass windows were ordered for the Notre-Dame Basilica in 1929 and remain intact to this day. Unusual for a church, the stained glass windows do not depict Biblical scenes, but rather scenes from the religious history of Montreal.
Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament
With stained glass windows and decorated in paintings by Quebec artist Ozias Leduc, the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament is a place where the faithful can go to pray in peace and adore the Blessed Sacrament.
Chapel of Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur
While the Chapel of Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur was built in 1888 to accommodate ceremonies for smaller congregations like marriages and funerals, a fire seriously damaged the original chapel in 1978. After undergoing reconstruction, the chapel’s first two levels were rebuilt identical to the original chapel while its vaulted ceiling received a modern treatment to make full use of the natural available light.