on July 27, 2012
When visiting this church, you feel like a higher being is touching your soul. This church is well-known all over Canada, and it is a VERY popular church. Before I tell my experience when visiting this church, I shall add a little bit of history to set the mood.In 1657, the Roman Catholic Sulpician Order arrived in Ville-Marie, now known as Montreal; six years later the seigneury of the island was vested in them. They ruled until 1840. The parish they founded was dedicated to the Holy Name of Mary, and the parish church of Notre-Dame was built on the site in 1672. François Baillairgé, an architect, designed the interior decoration and choir 1785-95; facade & vault decoration, 1818. The church served as the first cathedral of the Diocese of Montreal from 1821 to 1822. By 1824 the congregation had completely outgrown the church, and James O'Donnell, an Irish-American Protestant from New York, was commissioned to design the new building. O'Donnell was a proponent of the Gothic Revival architectural movement, and designed the church as such. He is the only person buried in the church's crypt. O'Donnell converted to Catholicism on his deathbed perhaps due to the realization that he might not be allowed to be buried in his church]The main construction work took place between 1824 and 1829. The cornerstone was laid at Place d"Armes on September 1, 1824. The sanctuary was finished in 1830, and the first tower in 1841, the second in 1843. On its completion, the church was the largest in North America. It remained the largest in North America for over fifty years. A new pipe organ was built in 1858 by Samuel Russell Warren.pipe organ at Notre-Dame Basilica (Montreal)The interior took much longer, and Victor Bourgeau, who also worked on Montreal's Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, worked on it from 1872 to 1879. Stonemason John Redpath was a major participant in the construction of the Basilica. Because of the splendour and grand scale of the church, a more intimate chapel, Chapelle du Sacré-Cœur (Chapel of the Sacred Heart), was built behind it, along with some offices and a sacristy. It was completed in 1888. In 1886 Casavant Frères began building a new 32-foot pipe organ at the church, completing it in 1891. It was notably the first organ with adjustable-combination pedals to be operated by electricity.My family visiting this church, and I was taken aback when I saw this church. I felt like a giant was towering over me getting ready to crush me like an ant. My family and I went into the church. The price of the church as very reasonable. For $5 per adult, I paid $10 Canadian dollars. We went into the church. Immediately, I felt as thought God was was touching my soul. The church had a tranquil atmosphere that was peaceful. What was more amazing was the church was not crowded. My family and I could see the church by ourselves. If you want to take a tour guide, you don't have to pay extra. You may have to wait for a tour guide because the guides takes about 30 to 40 minutes. You can listen to the tour guide either in English, or if you want to try your hand , you can listen to French.My family and I walked around the church. What was amazing to me was that even though the church looks HUGE outside, the church is small inside. Maybe because it seemed small inside because certain paths were closed off to tourists. The church offers a variety of amazing scenery (You can check out the photos). Every aspect of this church, I took time to savor every part of this church. Overall, this church is a MUST visit. I highly recommend ALL visitor of Montréal visit this church at least one time. As a person who love visiting different churches as a visitor, this is the best church that I have visited in my life. The church is clearly well-kept, and the citizens of this church value this church to no end. Worth visiting!!!
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