We walked by Notre-Dame Basilica all the time, living so close by, but due to recent renovations, we haven’t had the opportunity to go inside that often lately. So, it was a joy for us to attend Handel’s Messiah. It’s just an excellent piece of music, regardless of its religious context. To hear it in the cathedral is particularly outstanding.
Handel began working on Messiah in the summer of 1741 and completed the composition in just 24 days. The music was specifically written for an Easter performance, and its original context was rooted in Christian theology. The libretto, compiled by Charles Jennens, drew extensively from biblical texts, focusing primarily on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
These churches are renowned for their performances of Handel’s Messiah during Christmas, offering attendees a beautiful and traditional musical experience:
|New York City, USA
|St. Patrick’s Cathedral
|St. Andrew’s Cathedral
|National Cathedral of Washington, D.C. (Episcopal)
|Washington, D.C., USA
Notre-Dame Basilica, located in the heart of Montreal, Quebec, is a renowned religious and historical landmark. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful churches outside of Europe. In the old world, everything was carved out of stone, but Notre-Dame Cathedral has these intricate wooden carvings that are quite masterful. Its history is rich and dates back to the early 19th century when it was first constructed. While built very recently compared to the churches of Europe, it remains a Gothic Revival masterpiece that has attracted visitors worldwide for its architectural grandeur, cultural significance, and religious importance.
Significant Events of Notre-Dame Basilica
|Construction Begins: The construction of Notre-Dame Basilica started under architect James O’Donnell.
|Grand Opening: The basilica was officially opened and consecrated on this date.
|Fire Disaster: A devastating fire destroyed the cathedral’s interior, leading to extensive renovations.
|Completion of the Basilica: The cathedral achieved basilica status after years of restoration and expansion.
|Installation of Casavant Frères Organ: A renowned pipe organ was installed, adding to the cathedral’s musical heritage.
|Visit by Pope Paul VI: Pope Paul VI visited Notre-Dame Basilica during Expo 67, a significant historical moment.
Arson destroyed the Sacré-Cœur Chapel on December 8. It was rebuilt with the first two levels reproduced from old drawings and photographs, with modern vaulting and reredos and an immense bronze altarpiece by Quebec sculptor Charles Daudelin.
|Designation as National Historic Site: Notre-Dame Basilica received recognition as a national historic site of Canada.
Why Visit Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal
Visiting Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal is a captivating experience for various reasons:
- Architectural Marvel: The basilica’s Gothic Revival architecture, intricate detailing, stained glass windows, and soaring vaulted ceilings are a visual delight.
- Historical Significance: Notre-Dame Basilica bears witness to centuries of Montreal’s history, including its role as a center of Catholicism and a symbol of the city’s heritage.
- Religious Heritage: As an active place of worship, the basilica offers a spiritual experience for those interested in attending Mass or simply seeking a moment of reflection.
- Cultural Events: The basilica hosts concerts, cultural events, and organ performances, showcasing its cultural significance beyond its religious role.
- Tourist Attraction: Visitors can explore the history of Montreal through guided tours, learn about its art and architecture, and witness the beauty of its interior.
- Musical Legacy: The Casavant Frères Organ, installed in 1899, is renowned for its exceptional sound quality and is often featured in musical events.
Can a cathedral be a basilica?
Did you know?
Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral or in full Mary, Queen of the World and St. James the Great Cathedral is a minor basilica in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal.
Christ Church Cathedral on Rue Ste-Catherine is the home church of the Anglican Archbishop of Montreal.