I know, sounds kinda dumb. You spend beaucoupe moola to travel to a place where you know the name of the hotel, but not much else. Well. That's kinda how my husband and I rock and roll. Planning ahead just ain't our thang. On more than one occasion we have set off for one destination only to abruptly change our minds and go somewhere else.
For instance in 2012, it was 1 a.m. and I was driving north for a vacation in Michigan's U-P. We are Road Warriors and do our driving at night when the world is asleep. Earlier I had checked the week's weather in Mackinac and it was supposed to rain non-stop the whole time we were there. So I woke Ray up and said, "Let's go to the Smokey Mountains instead. Buddy has never been there." Buddy was our 21 year old tabby who traveled everywhere with me because he was diabetic and needed insulin. So we changed directions and yes, Buddy had a great time. We rented a chalet with a mountain view, and Buddy got his first rib-eye steak. Memorable!
In July Ray and I packed our passports with the intention of spending a few days in Canada. I'd been to Montreal in the early 90s with several coworkers. Every summer Montreal hosts a fireworks show each weekend presented by a different country. The weekend I was there in 1992, Japan was featured. I still have vivid memories of their amazing fireworks.
Ray loves fireworks. So, in essence...we decided to go to Canada to see fireworks.
With that kind of logic, you'd probably hate vacationing with us.
But wait! Here's what we discovered that was both a Surprise! and the best part of the whole trip, beyond even the fireworks show put on by Australia.
Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica is located in the heart of the historical Old Port area, founded in 1642 when a modest wooden chapel was built by the Jesuits. In 1657 the Sulpicians took over the parish and another chapel was built. The construction of the stone church took place between 1672 and 1683. By1800 there was not enough room inside the church to hold the parishioners, forcing them to listen to mass from the parvis. However it wasn't until 1823 when the church wardens approved plans for the existing church.
The basilica's architect, James O'Donnell, an Irish Protestant living in New York, moved to Montreal to oversee the work. He converted to Catholicism and died in 1830, just a few months after the church's inauguration.
Construction of the towers began in 1841 and was completed in 1843. The western tower, named Perseverance, houses the great bell weighing 11 tons. The eastern tower, named Temperance, houses a carillion with ten bells.
Between 1866 and 1882 Notre-Dame's parish priest, Benjamin-Victor Rousselot, supervised the beautification of the interior, inspired in great part by the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. The existing décor was designed by Victor Bourgeau, and was completed in1880.
|Ray poses in front of one of the Confessional Booths.|
|The color blue is in honor of The Virgin Mary.|
Henry Bouriche was commissioned to sculpt the altarpieces.
|The gold color you see throughout the Basilica is real gold.|
Meichisedech is seen offering bread and wine.
The sculptures below were intended to be placed on the altar along with the others, however there was not enough room. Instead Ezechiel and Jeremie were placed at the bottom of the pulpit.
|The ceiling contains 5 thousand gold-leaf stars.|
For more information go to www.notredamebasilica.ca or email at email@example.com