NOTRE-DAME BASILICA OF MONTREAL
Petit Futé's opinion on NOTRE-DAME BASILICA OF MONTREAL
The basilica was built in neo-Gothic style between 1824 and 1829 by an Irish architect who immigrated to New York, James O'Donnell, whose body was buried under one of the basilica's pillars. The interior decoration, the work of the French Canadian architect Victor Bourgeau, dates from 1876 and constitutes its major attraction: abundance of sculptures, woodwork and gilding, altarpiece of the choir, pulpit in black walnut carved by Louis-Philippe Hébert particularly remarkable, monumental organ due to the Casavant brothers of Saint-Hyacinthe and which would be one of the greatest in the world (organ concerts), baptistery decorated by Ozias Leduc, beautiful stained glass windows in the lower part. It should be noted that behind the choir is the Sacré-Cœur chapel, rebuilt in 1982 following a fire that wiped out admirable works by Quebec artists. It is distinguished by a steel vault covered with lime wood, and above all by a gigantic bronze altarpiece, a contemporary work of Charles Daudelin. The twin towers, Temperance and Perseverance, from a height of 68 metres, have long dominated the Montreal landscape.
It has been the scene of major events, from the funeral of Sir Georges Etienne Cartier in 1873, one of the fathers of Confederation and former Prime Minister of Canada, to the funeral of Pierre-Elliot Trudeau in October 2000, to the funeral of Maurice Richard, one of the greatest hockey players, and those of filmmaker Gille Carle, to the wedding of Celine Dion (her husband and impresario, René Angélil, was entitled to a national funeral at the basilica on January 22, 2016). The great International Eucharistic Congress of 1910 was held there and Pope John Paul II received children there in 1984.
The basilica is open every day for prayer (7am on weekdays, 8am on Saturdays and 7:30am on Sundays). There is no entrance fee for prayer, mass, confession, meditation and religious services. However, if you wish to have a guided tour of the site, different price plans are available. Finally, for an extraordinary sound and light experience, the basilica offers multimedia installations that highlight the works under the roodos, as well as the superb immersive show AURA created by Moment Factory. For performance schedules and online ticketing, visit the website (www.aurabasiliquemontreal.com).
Information on NOTRE-DAME BASILICA OF MONTREAL
Monday-Friday, 8am-4.30pm; Saturday, 8am-4pm; Sunday, 12.30pm-4pm. Adult: CAN$8.00. Aura Show: adult $26.50 CAN.
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