Notre Dame Basilica
One of Montreal's most enduring symbols, the Notre Dame Basilica occupies a site rich with three centuries of history. The massive, awe-inspiring interior alone is worth a visit, with its wealth of opulent details. Besides religious services, the weddings and funerals of the city's well-known and well-heeled regularly take place here. Its most recent claim to fame was the baptism of Céline Dion's son in July 2001.
Inside, one of the highlights is the altar, which displays 32 bronze panels representing birth, life, and death. The west tower houses one massive bell, which when rung, vibrates right up through your feet. In the east is a 10-bell carillon. The Chapelle du Sacré Coeur (Sacred Heart Chapel) located behind the main hall is nicknamed the Wedding Chapel. It's so popular that couples might have to wait two years to tie the knot.
Tuesday through Saturday, an evening sound and light display called "Et la lumière fut" ("And then there was light") uses cutting-edge technology to tell the story of the church and the city.
The Notre Dame Basilica is located on the Place d'Armes, along the rue Notre-Dame, on the north end of Vieux Montreal. It’s easily accessible by metro and bus, and makes for a perfect first stop before exploring the cobblestone streets of Vieux Montreal. Allow an hour for your visit.
Tours & Tickets
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Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)