Notre-Dame Basilica

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Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica is a Gothic Revival style church well known for its dramatically beautiful architecture and interiors.

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110 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1T1

Nestled in Montreal's historic district lies the Notre-Dame Basilica, a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture that has earned a reputation as one of the world's most dramatic churches. Its intricate details and grandeur are sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

This iconic church has played host to many extravagant events throughout its history, including Celine Dion's fairytale wedding in 1994 and the provincial state funeral for former Montreal Canadiens player Maurice "Rocket" Richard, which drew thousands of mourners in 2000.

A visit to the Notre-Dame Basilica is a must-see for anyone interested in history, architecture, or simply seeking a breathtaking experience in one of Montreal's most beautiful landmarks.

What to Know

Notre-Dame Basilica is one of the most visited and iconic monuments in North America, located in the heart of the historic district of Old Montreal. With over 11 million visitors annually, it is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Montreal.

The church is situated at 110 Notre-Dame Street West, at the corner of Saint Sulpice Street, adjacent to the Saint-Sulpice Seminary, and overlooking the stunning Place d'Armes square.

This architectural masterpiece was designed by James O'Donnell and built in the Gothic Revival style, with an interior that boasts an intricate and ornate design that is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the artisans who created it.

Visitors to the Basilica will be in awe of the soaring ceilings, stunning stained glass windows, and impressive pipe organ, all of which contribute to the building's serene and majestic atmosphere.

In 2023, the Notre-Dame Basilica was ranked as the 6th most visually stunning architectural wonder globally by Angi, a publication focused on home services that evaluates TripAdvisor reviews.

The ranking places the Basilica in esteemed company, with the likes of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and Notre-Dame de Paris, which came in first and second place respectively. Whether you are an architecture enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable cultural experience, a visit to the Notre-Dame Basilica is a must when in Montreal!

How to Get There

To get to Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, you can take Metro Line 2 to Place-d'Armes and exit the station. From there, head south on St. Urbain Street, and you'll see the Basilica straight ahead as you approach. However, booking a guided tour is highly recommended as it can provide you with a more detailed and informative experience.

A dessert walking tour is a great option as it not only takes you to the Basilica but also includes visits to other attractions like Old Montreal and Montreal City Hall, all while indulging in delicious sweet treats along the way. This is a great way to explore the city and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time.


The interior of the Notre-Dame Basilica is a true marvel of Gothic Revival architecture and its interior decoration is considered one of the most dramatic in the world. Adorned with vibrant colors such as blues, purples, silver, azures, reds, and gold, the sanctuary is a feast for the eyes.

The vaults are particularly noteworthy, with their deep blue hue and golden stars adding to the grandeur of the space. Visitors can admire hundreds of intricate wooden carvings and numerous religious statues, which lend an air of serenity to the basilica.

The two towers of the church each possess their own unique bells. One of them, the West Tower, has a bourdon bell named Jean-Baptiste, which was created in John Dod Ward's Eagle Foundry in 1848 and weighs a staggering 10,900 kg.

This bell is typically reserved for special occasions such as funerals, major church celebrations, and even Christmas Eve. In contrast, the ten-bell carillon located in the East Tower was created by the Eagle Foundry on May 24, 1842.

One of the unique features of the Notre-Dame Basilica is that its stained glass windows do not depict biblical scenes, unlike other churches. Instead, they showcase scenes from the religious history of Montreal, making them a testament to the city's heritage.

The Casavant Frères pipe organ is another highlight of the basilica. This impressive instrument dates back to 1891 and boasts four keyboards, 92 stops using electromagnetic action, an adjustable combination system, 7000 individual pipes, and a pedal board.

The harmonious notes emanating from the organ add to the already enchanting atmosphere of the basilica! So what are you waiting for? Book a walking tour now to see this stunning building while feasting on the best food Montreal has to offer along the way! 

Best of Montreal Tour


The Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal is a national historic site of Canada and was designed by architect James O'Donnell in the Gothic Revival style. Construction began in 1824 and the sanctuary was finished in 1830, with the first tower completed in 1841 and the second in 1843.

The church was the largest in North America upon completion and remained so for over fifty years. The interior was completed by Victor Bourgeau from 1872 to 1879, and the Chapelle du Sacré-Cœur was built behind the church in 1888.

In 1982, Pope John Paul II declared Notre-Dame Church a minor basilica, and in 1989, it was recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada. This church has been the site of numerous notable events, including the funeral of former Montreal Canadiens player Maurice "Rocket" Richard, the funeral of Pierre Trudeau, and the wedding of Celine Dion and René Angélil. In addition, donations were accepted to aid in the reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris after it was damaged in a fire in April 2019.

It took almost a century to complete the extensive interior and exterior design of the Basilica.

Three statues by French sculptor Henri Bouriché, namely Saint-Joseph, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Jean-Baptiste, are among the church's features. Additionally, the basilica houses a new 32-foot pipe organ with adjustable combination pedals that are powered by electricity.

The Sacré-Cœur Chapel was destroyed by arson in 1978 but was later reconstructed, with the first two levels replicated from old drawings and photographs. The church has also exhibited a collection of artifacts that belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte.