Monday 30 March 2015

Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal, QC

Gord and I walked around Old Montreal this afternoon for a couple hours.  We spent some time at Notre-Dame Basilica.

Dedicated to Our Lady the Blessed Virgin – “Notre Dame” – the small original chapel was operated at first by the Jesuits. Then came the Sulpician Fathers, who in 1657 undertook construction of a larger church. The Sulpician François Dollier de Casson was its architect, and the present-day Notre-Dame Street served as the original site. Its construction, in Baroque style was completed between 1672 and 1683.

By 1800, Dollier’s church had become too small and the Fabrique decided to build the church we know today. To design the new church, the building council engaged the services of the New York architect James O’Donnell – himself an Irish Protestant by origin. O’Donnell and the Fabrique opted for the Gothic Revival style then in vogue in England and the United States. The main construction work took place between 1824 and 1829.

O’Donnell did not live to see his work completed. He died in Montreal in 1830. Just prior to his death, he had converted to Catholicism, and was buried in the new church’s crypt, where his grave is marked by a plaque.

The old church set back from the road was demolished in the summer of 1830, except for its bell tower, which survived until 1843, when Notre-Dame Basilica’s twin towers were completed by the architect John Ostell. The western tower, nicknamed La Persévérance (Perseverance) and finished in 1841, houses the great bell christened “Jean-Baptiste,” weighing 11 tons (11,000 kilograms or 24,000 pounds). The eastern tower, nicknamed La Tempérance (Temperance), was completed in 1843 and houses a carillon of 10 bells.

A new chapel In 1889, Curé Léon-Alfred Sentenne commissioned the architects Perreault and Mesnard to build a chapel that would accommodate ceremonies for smaller congregations, such as marriages and funerals. Named the Chapel of Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur (Our Lady of the Sacred Heart) and consecrated on December 8, 1891, the date of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, it was built in Gothic Revival style with a wealth of sculptural motifs.

Admittance was $5 each.

I'm not religious but I find old churches interesting ... and this one is beautiful.

Looking back at the Casavant Frères pipe organ,
dated 1891, which comprises four keyboards, 92 stops
using electropneumatic action and an adjustable
combination system, 7000 individual pipes and
a pedal board
A 4 hour offering candle costs $1 to light
A 4 day offering candle costs $5 to light

It's very peaceful inside and worth checking out.

1 comment:

Isabel said...

Very pretty!!! Would love to see one day.