Friday, August 21, 2009

Project 365 Canada Tue 11 Aug 09

I've renamed Montreal as the City of Churches because I can't believe how many there are or how beautiful they are. They are really impressive.

Mari-Reine-du-Monde et Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur
The first we visited was the Basilica Cathedral known as Mari-Reine-du-Monde et Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur ... quite a mouthful, but absolutely beautiful.

Horace and Clarissa aren't much interested in churches so Horace sat and waited while Clarissa and I wandered around a little.

This is the view towards the Baldacchino beneath the cupola ... so beautiful and delicate.

One of the historical paintings that decorate the transepts and aisles. All the paintings depict the founding of Montreal.

Clarissa wandering down one of the aisles on her way out.

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal
The next church visited was the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal. The basilica was really impressive ... all blue and gold as I love churches to be, and well worth the $5 entry fee I paid to enter, and hearing this you'll understand why I've shared so many photos. (PS Horace and Clarissa were too cheap to go in and I'm glad I did because it was my favourite.)

This is the sanctuary and altar ... I've added closeups below it's so amazing.

The pulpit ... this is the most brilliant carving I've seen so far.

A close-up of the carving of Jesus on the cross ... which is breathtaking.

A close up of the altar, below the photo above ... it just gets better.

And another view of the altar ... these carvings are on either side of the actual altar.

This is the organ above the entrance and facing the sanctuary and altar.

This gives just a glimpse of how beautiful the ceiling was.

These are just some of the paintings along the side of the basilica.

St Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal
The last church we went to was St Joseph's, which sits high up on Mount Royal. And this time Horace, Clarissa, Diane and I went together, which was really nice.

But I wasn't as impressed with the Oratory as I was with other churches. For one it sits impressively at the top of Mount Royal with the most imposing entrance. And yet, once inside, it feels cramped and ... I suppose modern, which doesn't appeal to me.

However, its location and the views from it are amazing, and the actual basilica, with its early 20th century design and the many wooden statues and the stone stations of the cross, are beautiful in its own right.

It was also harder to get a full understanding of the Oratory because it was undergoing substantial renovations and we couldn't access several parts of the complex.

Horace standing at the main entrance level to the basilica ... the Oratory towers well above this level with the basilica right at the top.

The view up from the main level ... you can see how much work is being done just from this view alone.

One of the plaques as we entered the building.

These huge wooden statues were ranged on the walls in groups of three ... and were bishops and famous religious people associated with Montreal.

The basilica also had many large stone stations of the cross ... which I really liked.

This beautiful stained glass window is a great example of the 'modern' style of the basilica.

The organ was playing as we walked around ... it's one of the 10 most impressive organs in the world.

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