January 15, 2010

Montreal – Vieux Montreal (Part 1)

After a look around the heart of the 21st-century city, a walk around Vieux-Montreal (Old Montreal) highlights the ample contrast between these two areas.

I started my walk at Basilique Notre-Dame, an exquisite church designed in 1824.

The impressive interior of Basilique Notre-Dame

Beautiful stained glass windows

Behind the altar is the Chapelle Sacré-Coeur (Chapel of the Sacred Heart), a charming chapel that's extremely popular for weddings. Montreal's most famous import, Celine Dion, also took her wedding vows here.

The photo doesn't do justice to the beautiful chapel

Next to Basilique Notre-Dame is the Vieux Séminaire de St-Sulpice, the city's oldest building, surrounded by stone walls. Banque de Montréal, Montréal's oldest bank building dating back from 1847, stands at the opposite side of the road. Nearby is Montréal's first skyscraper back in 1888, the Edifice New York Life, a red-stone Romanesque building with a clock tower. Next to it is the Edifice Aldred building, modeled after the Empire State Building in New York.

L to R: Vieux Séminaire de St-Sulpice, Edifice New York Life building, Edifice Aldred building, Banque de Montréal

Four blocks away is the Vieux Palais de Justice (Old Court House), and a little bit further down is Place Vauquelin, a small public square, with a splashing fountain and a statue of Jean Vauquelin, commander of the French fleet in New France.

Statue of Jean Vauquelin at Place Vanquelin

Home of the city's French governors for 4 decades, Chateau Ramezay was built by Claude de Ramezay between 1705 and 1706, the governor at that time. It was later taken over and used for the same purpose by the British, before being used as a courthouse, a government office building, and headquarters for Laval University, before being converted into a museum in 1895.

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