Montreal Notre-Dame Basilica
Notre Dame Basiica, Montreal
Dedicated to our Lady the Blessed Virgin ("Notre Dame") – the current building replaced an earlier Baroque style church constructed between 1 672 and 1683. Plans for the Notre Dame Basilica were created in 1824. The architect chosen for the job was an Irish-American named James O'Donnell, who also happened to be a Protestant. O'Donnell had just completed Christ Church in Manhattan and First Presbyterian of Rochester, NY.
According to records, it took two years to erect the walls of the basilica and the façade up to the base of the towers. By 1827, the wooden framework was completed and the vaulting and original interior were finished two years later.
O'Donnell was a leader in the neo-Gothic movement and the basilica certainly reflects his preferences. The building is rectangular in shape, including the towers, which is contrary to the custom which usually kept the towers separate from the façade.
The decorative elements are incredible. Much of the interior is carved from rare woods – which are gilded or painted and large rose windows let in the muted light.