Montreal is densely populated with churches. Churches in every lane, corner, and direction are not missed because of their beauty and wow factor. These churches are breathtakingly gorgeous, both inside and out, and have significant religious significance. If you are visiting Montreal and are looking for a spiritual trip, here is a list of famous churches in Montreal that you should visit.
Top 10 Famous Sacred Churches In Montreal
Church of La Visitation-de-la-Bienheureuse-Vierge-Marie: The oldest church in Montréal
The Church of La Visitation-de-la-Bienheureuse-Vierge-Marie is the island of Montréal’s oldest church. It also dated back to New France and was built between 1749 and 1752 in Ahuntsic. For its 100th anniversary, the church was enlarged in 1850 in the English neoclassical style by architect John Ostell, and the bell towers each house five bells from London and Rome. Concerts of contemporary pop and classical music are also held at the church.
Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal: One of the world’s great Catholic basilicas
Mount Royal’s Saint Joseph’s Oratory is one of the world’s great Catholic basilicas. Montréal’s magnificent Mount Royal’s Saint Joseph’s Oratory is a National Historic Site of Canada and one of the world’s great Catholic basilicas. Saint André of Montréal, known locally as Brother André. It began building in 1924 to honor Saint Joseph, Jesus’ stepfather but did not live to see it completed in 1966 (1845 – 1937).
The basilica’s exterior is styled after the Italian Renaissance, with Corinthian-style pillars and a dome that is not only the third-largest of its kind in the world (after the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro in Côte d’Ivoire and Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome) but also the highest point in Montréal.
Additionally, inside are the relics of Saint André, who was certified “venerable” in 1978. (when the Vatican accepts a person is responsible posthumously for two miracles). Saint André, also known as the “Miracle Man of Montréal,” is credited with hundreds of miraculous healings.
Additionally, every year, about 2 million people visit the Oratory and its museum. They include pilgrims who journey on their knees from the street to the crypt church through two parallel flights of 283 concrete steps separated by a center flight of 99 wooden steps.
Mary Queen of the World Cathedral: National Historic Site of Canada
Mary Queen of the World Cathedral was inspired by Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome and is based on a tale. The stunning Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in Montréal was influenced by the Italian Renaissance revival and based after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Montréal and a recognized National Historic Site of Canada. It was the first structure in Montréal to cost more than a million dollars when it was constructed between 1870 and 1894.
Besides, the grand dome ceiling, a great organ built by Casavant Frères, a red copper and gold leaf baldachin, legendary sculptor Louis-Philippe Hébert’s White Crucifix. It is considered one of the most important religious sculptures in Québec. Nine paintings depicting historical events in the early days of Montréal are among the highlights.
St. Patrick’s Basilica: Montréal’s oldest English-speaking Roman Catholic Church
St. Patrick’s Basilica is Montréal’s oldest English-speaking Roman Catholic Church, famous for its historical ties to the Irish-Canadian population. The church was also erected in the Gothic Revival style and held its first service on March 17, 1847, St. Patrick’s Day.
Saint Patrick’s interior, a National Historic Site of Canada, is a visual feast. A Casavant Frères pipe organ from 1895 and tributes to two prominent parishioners. These were Thomas D’Arcy McGee, a Father of Confederation killed in Ottawa in 1868, and the great Québécois poet Émile Nelligan, who was baptized in the church on Christmas Day 1879.
Notre-Dame Basilica: The most famous church in Montreal
The Notre Dame Basilica in Montréal is a crown jewel in Québec’s rich religious legacy; it was here that global superstar Luciano Pavarotti delivered his 1978 Christmas concert. It was also here that Céline Dion married René Angélil in 1994. The basilica, now a National Historic Site of Canada, replaced the little parish church of Notre Dame, which was established in 1672. It was also designed and erected between 1824 and 1829 by Irish-American architect James O’Donnell.
The basilica, with its two soaring towers, is a beautiful and dramatic example of the Gothic Revival style, with a grand and colorful interior packed with hundreds of delicate wooden carvings and holy figures, as well as an 1891 Casavant Frères pipe organ. The historic landmark is popular with both tourists and locals all year, and orchestras, chamber groups, and organists perform there regularly.
Marguerite Bourgeoys Historic Site
The Marguerite Bourgeoys Historic Site in the heart of Old Montréal transports visitors back in time. Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, built-in 1771 on the ruins of an earlier chapel, also has an archaeological site and a museum dedicated to Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, the Frenchwoman who founded the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montréal and was the colony’s first teacher in 1653. (the Vatican canonized Bourgeoys in 1982). Bourgeoys were laid to rest in the church sanctuary.
Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours is also known as the “Sailor’s Church,” not only because it overlooks the harbor but also because it was a pilgrimage place for sailors arriving in the Old Port in the nineteenth century. Visitors can now climb the chapel’s belvedere to join the “angel of Ville-Marie” and enjoy breathtaking views of the Old Port and Old Montréal.
Christ Church Cathedral: A gorgeous Neo-gothic structure
The Christ Church Cathedral is a stunning Neo-gothic structure planned by Frank Wills (1822-1856), a Gothic revivalist who died before the cathedral was finished in downtown Montréal in 1859. The cathedral was erected in the shape of a cross, as is typical of Gothic structures.
It is now a National Historic Site of Canada, as well as the seat of the Anglican Diocese of Montréal, and is located atop the underground Promenades Cathédrale shopping mall. The cathedral serves as the regimental church for the Canadian Grenadier Guards and hosts musical events throughout the year, especially during the annual Montréal Bach Festival. Visit the Raoul Wallenberg Monument in Wallenberg Square, a tranquil sanctuary behind the cathedral.
St. George’s Anglican Church: One of the most beautiful churches in Montreal
The picturesque St. George’s Anglican Church was built in 1869-1870 in the heart of downtown Montréal to plans by well-known architect William Tutin Thomas. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada because the stone building is a fine example of the High Victorian phase of the Gothic Revival style, with its steep gable roof and asymmetrically placed bell tower. The church’s features also include spectacular stained glass windows and a tapestry presented by Westminster Abbey that was used for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. Every Sunday at 2 p.m., St. George’s also hosts free musical concerts.
St. James United Church: An architectural treasure
The ancient St. James United Church is an architectural treasure in downtown Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles. The outside is a Victorian neo-gothic representation of a medieval French cathedral, designed by renowned architect Alexander Francis Dunlop and built between 1887 and 1889 in the Gothic Revival style.
However, its front exterior was hidden from the public for about 80 years until a commercial façade was built to fund operating costs in 1927. These commercial structures were also removed in 2006, showcasing St. James’ neogothic splendor. The church includes amphitheater seating 1,200 people and a Casavant Frères organ with about 4,000 pipes.
Church of Saint Peter the Apostle: An architectural marvel in Montréal’s LGBTQ+ Village
The Church of Saint Peter the Apostle is an architectural marvel erected between 1851 and 1853 in Montréal’s LGBTQ+ Village and is the first work of religious architect Victor Bourgeau. Besides, the organ of the church was built by Casavant Frères in 1908, and the House of Champigneulle created the stained-glass windows in Bar-le-Duc, France, between 1853 and 1883.
The church also houses the Chapel of Hope (Chapelle de l’Espoir), which was dedicated to AIDS sufferers in 1996. The Church of St. Peter the Apostle takes pleasure in “welcoming all persons unreservedly, regardless of sexual orientation.”
How many churches can you find in Montreal?
In Montreal, there are over 650 churches, of which approximately 200 are Catholic churches.
What is the name of Montreal’s most famous church?
The most well-known church in Montreal is Notre-Dame Basilica, a basilica in Old Montreal. This church is located at 110 Notre-Dame Street West, near the intersection with Saint Sulpice Street.
Is Notre Dame Montreal a replica of Notre Dame in Paris?
Yes, Notre Dame Montreal is an exact replica of Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral. This is a well-known attraction in older Montreal, and it also has many cobblestone streets and walkways.
What makes Montreal famous?
Montreal is well-known for being North America’s top host city for international events. This one also houses the world-famous Cirque du Soleil.
What kind of food is famous in Montreal?
Montreal is well-known for its cuisine. In fact, if you plan a vacation to Montreal, you can be sure that it will not only cater to the traveler in you but will also be a terrific spot to pamper your taste buds. Make sure you don’t miss out on Poutine, Bagels, Orange Julep, Wilensky’s Special, Smoked Meat, Pâté Chinois, and other delectable treats.
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