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Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal, Canada

Situated in the historic district of Old Montreal, delight in the rich interior decoration and the daring architectural experiment of the Notre-Dame Basilica during a Montreal and Quebec City motorcoach tour.

Built in 1672 by Sulpician François Dollier de Casson, the Notre-Dame Basilica was constructed in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and possesses some of the finest Gothic Revival architecture in North America.

Today Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica is an important Catholic sanctuary, its 350 years of history boasting a wealth of trivia, tales and urban legends. Learn about its history, key architectural features and the many works of art that adorn the building during a visit to one of Canada’s greatest National Historic Sites.

The Altar in the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal

The Altar in the Notre-Dame Basilica

Interior of the Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal

Interior of the Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal

Depiction of the Crucifixion of Christ Montreal

Depiction of the Crucifixion of Christ

Main Nave, Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal

Main Nave, Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal

Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal, Canada

Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal, Canada

Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament Montreal Basilica

Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament

The Altar in the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal The Altar in the Notre-Dame Basilica
Interior of the Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal Interior of the Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal
Depiction of the Crucifixion of Christ Montreal Depiction of the Crucifixion of Christ
Main Nave, Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal Main Nave, Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal
Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal, Canada Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal, Canada

Visiting the Notre-Dame Basilica

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. 

The Altar

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.

The Pulpit

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.

Travel Tips

  • The Notre-Dame Basilica is home to two gift shops, one open daily and the other open during the peak tourist season. In the shops you’ll find a number of religious articles, sacramental items and Basilica keepsakes.

 

  • The Notre-Dame Basilica is accessible by wheelchair.
Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament Montreal Basilica Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament