Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica Ottawa (Ottawa)

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica is a Minor basilica in Ottawa, Canada located on 385 Sussex Drive in the Lower Town neighbourhood. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.

The first plan dates from 1839. The work on the building's structure was conducted between 1841 and 1865, and the interior ornamentation, from 1876 to 1885. Missionnaries on temporary postings initiated the actual construction. It was only after the arrival of the Oblate Fathers in 1844 that the work proceeded on a regular basis.

The Basilica is the oldest and largest church in Ottawa and the seat of the city's Roman Catholic archbishop. Its twin spires and gilded Madonna are easily identifiable from nearby Parliament Hill and the surrounding area.

The most surprising and fascinating aspect of this sanctuary is the richness of its Gothic ornamentation and the originality of its iconographic programme. It is in studying the decoration and especially the sculptures of the sanctuary that the spirit of Canon Bouillon's utmost creativity becomes evident. Strongly inspired by a long medieval tradition and influenced by the neo-Gothic movement, this iconography is at once complex yet coherent, traditional yet innovative, symbolic yet largely accessible.

Today the spaciousness, majesty, and sacred character of the interior of this cathedral strike the visitor just as they did a hundred years ago. In the reigning dimness, one soon makes out the long, narrow, and high central nave, with its line of imposing Gothic arches running from the entrance all the way to the main altar.


Top tourist attractions:

Canada - Ottawa

National Gallery of Canada
Canadian Museum of Nature
National Arts Centre Ottawa
Peace Tower and Parliament Hill
Canadian Museum of History

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica Ottawa
Canadian War Museum
Rideau Hall
Majors Hill Park



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