Friday, September 10, 2010

Old Montreal - a true National treasure....

I am sure that my head line might surprise many but truly the history of the city of Montreal is so important to the rest of Canada...

Montreal - Vieux Montreal...

The cobble stone streets, the ancient and graceful churches - the old row housing...the stories those walls could tell and do if you listen really hard...Montreal is a place the makes the imagination run wild.

Visions of big skirts, tall ships and dashing men run through your mind...juxtaposed against the brand new and modern buildings of today ones sense go in to over load - quickly!
one of the statues out front of the Basilica - Mary Queen of the World
one of the statues out front of the Basilica - Mary Queen of the World

Mass was under way so we did not go in to take pictures - we just went in to listen for a bit and take in the architectural beauty of the building

Motorcycle specific parking is everywhere!
The next stop was the Christmas Store...and some of the incredible architecture along the streets of the Old Montreal
After walking along for a while we headed off to Notre Dame Basilica

 but to be FORCED to either pay or not see this treasure is a travesty - the commercialization of religion is to me, unconscionable...but we paid the $5 and went in to the Basilica...

The Basilica
The Basilica is poorly lit but is is magnificent
The main alter
The main alter
One of the private family pews

Another of the alters
Another of the alters
The Impressive Organ
The impressive organ

After our time in the Basilica it was off to another sight...along the way we came across the Bixi Bikes - Bike Stands - you can rent a bike - use it for a half hour, and hour or a day - return it to any Bixi Stand along the way - and your credit card or bank card is debited for the time you use it..

The city is filled with unique and magnificent buildings - I personally am enthralled with old buildings...

Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum and Notre-Dame de Bon Secours Chapel
Next stop...Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum and Notre-Dame de Bon Secours Chapel

Originally the only lighting the church had was the ship like chandeliers...
This church is the oldest stone church in Montreal - over 300 years old and has a crypt and tower that are fantastic reminders of the history of this city.

The view from the tower...
The view from the tower...
Another view from the tower..
Another view from the tower..

Gabriel stands sentinel
Yet another view from the tower - Gabriel stands sentinel
church of the mariners
In the museum of the church - this church was and is known as the church of the mariners...

In the crypt are some fabulous archaeological artifacts - in all this church holds over 2000 years of history and is fascinating

The middle picture shows the original church cross and the corner stone of that original church - the bottom picture is of one of the many sculptures in the crypt.
stone of that original church
 Information about the archaeological dig that took place here to
unearth all of the treasures housed in the crypt and the museum.
 cases of miniatures miniatures

The two miniatures you see here are only samples of the 30 or 40 cases of miniatures that tell the history of the church and the Catholics of the region.
Now all of this sight seeing helps you build a hunger up and there is no place like Montreal when it comes to food - the French are notorious for incredible food - and I LOVE good food...
Our destination for a late lunch: L'uisine de Spaghetti at 273 rue St Paul est (St Paul St East)
Montreal QC H2Y 1H1 Phone: 514-866-0963

Place we had our food
Now - if you want good food - and i do mean really, really good food - this is a MUST do.
Not only does this building have incredible history but the decor and food make it the complete deal. The story of the Three Jacques written by Dickens as part of the Tale of Two cities originated in this restaurant. Reportedly Dickens loved Montreal and when he stayed here he ate in this very restaurant and was served by the waiter Jacques, who got the food from the chef - Jacques - and the place was owned by a man named you guessed it - Jacques.

The hand made tables in the restaurant feature old bills, letters, and pictures of Montreal history...
 Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth in Montreal
A photo embedded in a table - of Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth in Montreal in 1967
impressive wine cellar
The impressive wine cellar - hermetically controlled

The room upstairs boasts unused tickets from every possible game of the Montreal Canadians in the OLD Forum...
The food and service were impeccable - all of us enjoyed our meals and the carrot cake I had for dessert - 7 layers high was moist and delicious. Although not Biker Coffee Company Coffee - the coffee was good and went perfectly with the carrot cake!

Now - re energized by good food - we had to go walk some of it off! And walk we did - next stop...St Georges
Main Alter
The Main Alter
stained glass windows
One of the exquisite stained glass windows

One of the side alters
One of the awe inspiring chandeliers

The St Patrick Basilica was equally as awe inspiring - the craftsmen of this time built things with the intention of immortality unlike today where everything we build seems to be disposable - including our buildings...

St Patrick Basilica

The first mass was held in the Basillica in 1847 - the stone to build it came from Montreal quarries

The original organ was installed in 1852 and came from England - in 1972 when St Anthony's Church was demolished the organ from that church was married to the organ in St Patrick's to form the organ you see here. The gallery for the choir will hold 100 singers.

Next and last stop for the day was the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. 

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Sarcophagus on display in the Egypt Room
The Sarcophagus on display in the Egypt Room
An incredible candelabra - one of two...
 beaded face masks
In the African display were the most incredible beaded face masks....
wild chair.
A very wild chair....

The Inuit display was stunning

And that my frineds rounds out my day of being a tourist in Old Montreal - I was delighted and amazed - enthralled and in love - the history, the architecture - it was all a delight for the senses...

Montreal has so very much to offer - visit it and you will be impressed - amazed and entertained...
Until next time....ride safe