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Located in the heart of Old Montreal, the Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel is an integral part of Montreal's religious patrimony and cultural heritage. Founded in the mid-seventeenth century at the urging of Marguerite Bourgeois, work on the chapel was begun in 1655 and finally completed in 1675 as the first stone church in all of Montreal. Named Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours by a certain Father Pijart, Marguerite Bourgeois established the church to honour the Virgin Mary and had it consecrated in her name. Constructed with the aid of some of the first French settlers in Montreal, the Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel remains an Old Montreal landmark to the present day.

Having been destroyed by fire in 1754, the chapel was rebuilt in 1771 and continued to undergo several developments over the years. During the nineteenth century, the chapel became known as the Sailors' Church because of its proximity to the Port of Montreal, as many parishioners offered prayers for the safe harbour of the community's sailors. In recognition of this, many sailors presented the church with model ships fashioned out of wood that can still be seen hanging from the church ceiling to this day. The church also houses the Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum with displays of recently discovered archaeological finds from the area, as well as a beautifully painted ceiling done by Francois-Edouard Meloche during the late nineteenth century with illustrations from the life of the Virgin Mary. Open for masses and visitations most days of the week, the Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel is also a 350-person capacity concert hall that presents various classical, baroque and renaissance musical events throughout the year.

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Additional Photos by Vlad Ghiea (vlad_ghiea) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 54 W: 56 N: 199] (1086)
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