Notre-Dame Basilica (French Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal) is a basilica in the historic district of Montreal, in Quebec, Canada.
The basilica, overlooking the Place d'Armes in the heart of Old Montreal, is attached to the old Sulpician religious Seminary. The Roman Catholic Sulpician Order religious order arrived in Montreal (Ville-Marie) in 1657; six years later the seigneury of the island was given them and they ruled until 1840. The parish they founded was dedicated to the Holy Name of Mary, and the parish church of Notre-Dame was built on the site in 1672.
The congregation had completely outgrown the church by the time work began on the new building in 1824. The Protestant architect James O'Donnell, an Irish immigrant to New York, was commissioned to design the neo-gothic church. He embraced Catholicism just before he died in 1830, and is buried in the church.
The sanctuary was completed in the same year, and the first tower was completed in 1843. When the structure was finished it was the largest church in North America.
The interior took much longer, and Victor Bourgeau, who also worked on Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral also in Montreal, worked on it from 1872 to 1879. Stonemason John Redpath was a major participant in the construction of the Basilica.
The basilica's organThe church is well-known for its gorgeous interior, its ceiling decorated in deep blue with gold stars, and the rest of the sanctuary in polychrome of blues, azures, reds, purples, silver, and gold. There are hundreds of intricate wooden carvings all over the sanctuary. Unusually for a church, the stained-glass windows along the walls of the sanctuary are not biblical, but depict scenes from the religious history of Montreal. It has a Canadian built Casavant Frères pipe organ.
Because of the splendour and scale of the church, a more intimate chapel (Chapelle du Sacré-Coeur) was built behind it along with some offices and a sacristy. It was completed in 1888.
A major fire destroyed the Sacré-Coeur Chapel on December 7, 1978. It was rebuilt with the first two levels being reproduced from old drawings and photographs, with modern vaulting and reredos and an immense bronze altarpiece by Quebec sculptor Charles Daudelin.
Notre-Dame Church was raised to the status of basilica by Pope John Paul II during a visit to the city on April 21, 1982.
Perhaps the most famous moment at the basilica took place in 2000 — Justin Trudeau giving his eulogy during the state funeral of Pierre Trudeau, his father, Canada's 15th prime minister. Incidentally, the Canadian singer Celine Dion was married here. (en.wikepedia.org)
I didn't have a tripod so I used the back of a pew, a trick I have used many times with reasonable success. I love the colors of this cathedral which are well represented in the photo.
Critiques | Translate
Clairedelune (4923) 2005-11-26 16:25
I can tell you one thing, you cannot take pictures in that chuch with a tripod! I know, I went there and they told me that you have to ask permission to the authorities. Strangely enough, flash is allowed. Well, you did a great job with this one. That church is so beautiful and your rendition of the colors are very accurate, I can confirm. Thanks for the note, I didn't know that there was a fire in 1978.
john_c (24662) 2005-11-26 18:49
Wow, this is a minor masterpiece! I like the vivid but realistic colours and the great clarity of the image. All of the different hues seem to come together for a great effect. Your famous positioning on the pew technique really worked here - there is perfect symmetry and balance to right and left. One of your very best, Alli. I like this one very much. Good weekend to you, too.
sarju (5324) 2005-11-27 0:09
this church is definitely on my hot list whenever I visit Montreal. Very good composition in this photo with incredible sharpness .. its hard to believe that you managed it without the tripod.
Reading Claire's reply I guess I will have to smuggle in my micro tripod on my visit over there ... lols
Thanks for a very informative note.
cheers .... sarju
KevRyan (22952) 2005-11-27 7:10
Hi Alli - what a really fantastic shot - beautifully composed, pin sharp and great colour - a very nice development of your work - I've just realised I haven't visited your site for ages - I'm so glad I saw this one!!
best wishes Kev
mpb001 (4602) 2005-11-27 9:49
What a super photo, Alli. You've captured the moment perfectly and the rich blue hues are very fitting for the holiday season. I also like the way the my eye is drawn to the top, white stained glass, as if looking toward the heaven.
PJE (20758) 2005-12-22 0:42
Well I found a jewel in your gallery. Only in Montreal! What an amazing capture. Gorgous photo Alli!
placombe (7893) 2006-06-23 21:44
Remarkable picture but even more remarkable the note that you have written about this basilica, perhaps the most visited building in old Montreal by american tourists.
vlad_ghiea (1086) 2006-11-05 17:48
Beautiful colors and correct sharpness! Maybe the frame is too hight...
- Copyright: Alli Hemingway (annagrace) (2467)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2005-10-19
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Olympus C4000z
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica, Les Églises du Québec II (suite) [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2005-11-26 16:17