Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal

The Notre-Dame parish in Montreal is closely mixed in with all of Montreal's history, starting as far back as 1642. Prior to holding services in the current one services were held in a modest wooden building. Construction on the existing stone church with its towers and bells began in 1824. Even through gray skies...impressive towers reach far overhead.

Inspiration for interior came from the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.

Many of the stained glass windows depict scenes of Montreal's social and religious history. Images were brought to life at Francis Chigot's workshop in Limoges, France. Ceilings were not forgotten and are equally as beautiful.

Images, sculptures and countless stained glass windows at the sanctuary and altar illustrate the Eucharist, Melchisedech offering bread and wine, Moses placing an urn full of manna in the Ark of the Covenant, Abraham preparing to sacrifice his son Issac, Aaron sacrificing a lamb and Mary being crowned by her Son. Angels in adoration are depicted as well as The Last Supper. So impressive...and so humbling.

With 7,000 pipes, four keyboards and 99 stops the organ high above at the rear was built in 1891. Modified only a few times since then, I can attest to the magnificent sound it produces.

If you are ever in Montreal this is worth a trip...for beauty, relaxation and rejuvenation of spirit.

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