Architectural Wonder Of Montreal
110 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, QC
Your religious affiliation has no bearing on whether or not you should visit the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal and in fact, if it could be actually enforced it should be a requirement to pay homage to this architectural phenomenon on your first visit to the city. The word "phenomenon" can be thrown around in the world of travel quite often. We ourselves may have been guilty in using it too lightly even in regards to pizza in New York City or some casino in Las Vegas, but perhaps with exception to the Mayan Ruins and other ancient structures we have covered in the Americas, we have undoubtedly stumbled upon the true meaning of the word, although by definition it refers to an event. An event it is however, as a step inside the Notre-Dame Basilica permeates with unprecedented wonder. A feeling of awe embraces you as your eyes attempt to take in every intricate detail of the dark wood and gold leaf carvings, the baroque ornamental design, the stained glass that reflects every color in the spectrum that puts any tropical waterfall derived rainbow to utter shame. The fact that the hands of man created this marvel is a testament to why we were created, regardless of how you believe we got here in the first place.
Since the Basilica was founded and dedicated to "Our Lady the Blessed Virgin" in 1642 it has undergone a multitude of changes, additions, and improvements if such a word applies. In 1843, the Basilica's most recognized features were erected in the form of two towers that bookend the church exterior. The western tower holds the great bell christened “Jean-Baptiste,” and weighs 11 tons which incites audio imaginations of what it sounds like when rung. The eastern tower is home to an additional 10 bell carillion. The end result is a symphony of deep chimes that transport your senses to a time and place centuries passed.
With up to 2500 people a day visiting the Notre-Dame Basilica it's hard to imagine that you can find solace in such a place especially during "peak season" but the quiet respect and inspired expressions on everyone's face creates an atmosphere that makes you feel perfectly alone or encapsulated in a moment shared, depending on what your "soul" is looking for at the time.
Due to the enormous cost of restoration and upkeep, the Basilica requests a small admission fee for both individuals and groups but consider it a worthy donation for an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. Your admission fee includes a 20-minute guided tour (not required), available in English or French.
Ages 7 to 17: $4
Age 6 and under: Free
Two tours of the Basilica normally take place every hour, on the hour and half hour.
Monday through Friday: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Last tour of the day)
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Sunday: 13:00 to 3:30 PM