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Tennis Camp in Massachusetts
 
Sunset Over Lake Champlain
 
Burlington, Vermont
 
Lake Champlain Ferry to New York
 
Oh Canada!
 
Home Base in Historic Vieux-Montréal
 
La Basilique Notre Dame
 
La Place Jacques-Cartier
 
Evening in Vieux-Montréal
 
Excursion to Mont Royal
 
Detour to Le Parc Olympique
 
Exploring the Vieux-Port
 
La Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours
 
Farewell Québec

Not far from my hotel was one of the most renowned structures in all Montréal, la Basilique Notre Dame, or Notre Dame Basilica (Our Lady of Montréal). The church is architecturally fascinating, both inside and out. Unfortunately, my camera did not take very good interior pictures, but hopefully you can get an idea of how captivating the decorations are. For more information, visit the official site, which seems to only have the French pages working. But you can probably get the general idea of what they're talking about anyway, or at least see better pictures!

To start off, here is a picture of the Place d'Armes, the plaza across the street from the basilica. This is one of the most popular locations in the old town, mostly because of the church, but also because of the horse-drawn carriages called calèches. The carriage business is apparently pretty good, as the horses leave souvenirs in the streets from mid-morning to late evening. I could often hear their clop-clop-clop outside my hotel room window as they pulled their carriages around Vieux-Montréal.
Here is another view of the Place d'Armes, from the opposite side, looking at the cathedral. If you're paying attention, you can see that these two pictures were taken at different times of the day... The flags are flying in opposite directions, and the light is becoming dim in this picture. The central statue and fountain in the plaza seemed kind of dirty, like a place where only pigeons or homeless people hang out.

Here are a couple pictures of the impressive front exterior of the basilica. In case you care, the flags are, from left to right, of the city of Montréal, of Canada, and finally of Québec.

Inside the basilica, here is a picture inside the sanctuary looking toward the massive altar. This picture did not turn out very good, even with some editing, but you can still observe the ornate and opulent design of the interior. It was really amazing to behold. The altar was extraordinary with its various sculptures and bright blue background. If I remember correctly, I think the guide said that the blue ceiling was dotted with stars made of real gold!
 
Directly behind the altar was another impressive chamber, the Sacre-Coeur chapel (I think that means "crowned heart"). The picture to the right shows the bronze backdrop that towered above the chapel's altar. The chapel is often used for weddings and other ceremonies that call for a more intimate setting.
The basilica's decorative pulpit is shown in the picture to the left. It stood on the left side of the church, midway between the entrance and the altar. and stretched from floor to ceiling. I'm thinking that if you were sitting in the front part of the sanctuary, it would pretty much suck to have to turn around to listen to the minister if he chose to speak from this perch!

 
 

Below, these sculptures depicting the prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah sit at the base of the pulpit shown above. The sign says "please don't touch," but of course people were often putting a finger on it, just to spite the sign.
One last picture to show an example of the numerous devotional areas surrounding the sanctuary. You can see the walls are covered with beautiful art, and the stained glass windows provide colorful light. After walking around the church for about an hour, it became obvious why the Basilique Notre Dame is one of the most popular sights in Montréal.

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