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Growing from a humble stone church in the 17th century to a minor basilica erected to welcome some 8,000 parishioners, Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal stands as a majestic testament to the importance of religion and art throughout the city’s history. A jewel of Québec’s religious heritage, it is a masterpiece of Gothic Revival architecture.
Built between 1824 and 1829, this site of national historic significance features dual towers reminiscent of Notre-Dame-de-Paris. The West Tower houses the famous 10,900-kg Jean-Baptiste bell, while the East Tower rings with a carillon of ten bells. Three large statues – Saint-Joseph, the Virgin Mary and Saint-Jean-Baptiste – keep vigil over the entrance to this religious sanctuary that welcomes millions of visitors each year.
The basilica’s interior is a sight to behold, with its blue colours, shimmering gold-leaf ornamentation, intricate woodwork, religious paintings and colourful stained-glass windows depicting over 350 years of parish history designed by Québec artist, Jean-Baptiste Lagacé. Under the direction of Montréal architect Victor Bourgeau, the interior decoration was completed in 1880.
In addition to being a place of prayer and celebration of Catholic worship, Notre-Dame Basilica has always been the site for grand events, from state funerals to celebrity weddings to the visit of dignitaries such as Pope Jean-Paul II in 1984. Featuring a 7,000-pipe Casavant organ, its remarkable acoustics are only matched by the beauty of the surroundings that host international-level musical performances all year long.
Come explore an unexpected, stunning universe that is the Notre-Dame Basilica. Guided tours are available daily. AURA, an immersive light and sound show experience, unveils its rich heritage and celebrates its beauty.
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sat, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sun, 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Subject to change according to weddings’ schedule.