Enjoy the Beauty of the Historic Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal
Notre Dame is a name that most Americans probably associate with college football. The University of Notre Dame, located in South Bend, Indiana, is celebrated for its high-caliber academics yet better known for its athletics programs, especially its NCAA Division I Fighting Irish football team. The historic Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, though, is among the most breathtaking Roman Catholic churches in the world.
Brief History of the Notre-Dame Basilica
Located in the historic district of Old Montreal, Quebec, Canada, this religious sanctuary was constructed between 1824 and 1829 when its congregation outgrew its first cathedral. It was completed in 1830 and its first tower was added in 1841 with a second tower following in 1843.
The Notre-Dame’s intricate interior took much longer to complete. Its stained glass windows depict scenes of the religious history of Montreal rather than the biblical scenes that are common in most Catholic churches, and its ceiling is blue and bedecked with gold stars. Hundreds of intricate carvings and statues also fill the church, and it has been home to an extraordinary pipe organ that is comprised of four keyboards and 7000 individual pipes since 1891.
Basilica is a term that honors a Catholic church’s historic, architectural and artistic value, or is granted in recognition of its symbolic or pastoral importance in a region. Notre-Dame was given the status of basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1982. The Notre-Dame Basilica was then designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1989.
Site of Celine Dion’s Wedding
The Basilica remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Old Montreal—over 2,500 people visit the Notre-Dame Basilica per day during the peak of tourist season and approximately 100 marriages are celebrated there each year. In fact, the Notre-Dame Basilica was even the site of Celine Dion’s wedding to Rene Angelil in 1994.
Here’s to my YouTube video of Montreal