Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica

The interior of Old Montreal's Notre Dame Basilica has to rank it as one of the most stunning churches or cathedrals in North America.
Interior Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal
This post may include affiliate links.
Click here for more information.

When it was first built in the mid-19th century, Notre Dame Basilica (or the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal, in French, still the primary language of Québéc) was the largest church in North America. It has since been eclipsed in terms of square footage by the modern evangelical mega-churches in the South and Midwest, but Notre Dame still surely ranks as one of the most spectacular. And with a prime spot in the heart of Old Montreal fronting onto Place D’Armes, its quaint environs of cobblestone streets and European architecture add to its old-world charm.

You don’t need to squint too hard to see the French-Catholic influence, but then this is the Québécois heartland, after all. With the twin towers on the outside reminiscent of its Parisian namesake, the Gothic revival interior is extraordinarily ornate, combining incredible detail and the traditional Gothic sharp arches with a modern twist of dramatic accent lighting in a range of hues, especially a rich blue. The effect isn’t what you’d call subtle, and it’s perilously close to something Disney would dream up, but it is quite something to behold.

Photos of Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica

Notre-Dame Basilica with Horse and Carriage at night
A horse and carriage taking tourists around the winter streets of downtown Montreal. In the background, the Basilica is decked out with illuminated angels for Christmas. [license topic=”Montreal Notre Dame Basilica”]
Notre Dame Basilica paintings and candles
[license topic=”Montreal Notre Dame Basilica”]
Interior of Notre-Dame Basilica in Old Montreal
[license topic=”Montreal Notre Dame Basilica”]
High Altar of Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal
[license topic=”Montreal Notre Dame Basilica”]
Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal
[license topic=”Montreal Notre Dame Basilica”]
Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal
[license topic=”Montreal Notre Dame Basilica”]
Christmas lights at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal
[license topic=”Montreal Notre Dame Basilica”]
Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal
[license topic=”Montreal Notre Dame Basilica”]
Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal main hall
[license topic=”Montreal Notre Dame Basilica”]
Alcove in Notre-Dame Basilica
[license topic=”Montreal Notre Dame Basilica”]
Christ on the Cross with candles in Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal
[license topic=”Montreal Notre Dame Basilica”]
Angel Christmas lights at Notre-Dame Basilica
[license topic=”Montreal Notre Dame Basilica”]

What to Know Before You Go

Like other active churches, it’s sometimes closed for services and events.

Where to Next?

Guidebooks for Canada

If you're looking for a guidebook to make the most of your visit, these are some of the most popular ones currently for Canada. Some are available in both paper and e-book formats.

Lonely Planet Canada 14 (Country Guide)
  • Sainsbury, Brendan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
DK Eyewitness Canada (Travel Guide)
  • DK Eyewitness (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Travel Insurance For Your Trip to Canada

I never travel without travel insurance, and I've run into several situations where I've had to make claims. I consider it essential.

But shopping for travel insurance can be a pain and confusing. Thankfully, there are some travel insurance comparison sites that show you a wide range of plans, make it easy to compare coverage, and can save you money at the same time. And the coverage can be much better tailored to your specific needs than the checkbox offering at travel booking sites or through your credit card.

These are some good places to shop for travel insurance for your next trip to Canada :

Hopefully, you won't need it, but if something goes wrong, you'll sure be glad you have it!

Location
On This Page