Montreal allows the tourist to plunge headlong into French traditions with an American accent. The European spirit reigns here and at the same time the atmosphere of the western continent is clearly felt. On the one hand - gourmet cuisine and wine in restaurants, on the other - Indian totem poles in the Botanical Garden. The Catholic churches of the Old City are a great contrast to the modern business districts, and the futuristic Biosphere rises boldly above the peaceful landscapes of the St. Lawrence Valley.
The first stone in the foundation of the city was laid by the French colonist Paul Chaumede de Maisonneuve. A few centuries later, a small settlement turned into a powerful industrial and commercial center, playing an important role in the country's economy. For tourists, Montreal is a city of festivals, shows, entertainment and endless shopping. It is hospitable and always open to new guests.
What to see and where to go in Montreal?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
The historical quarter of the city, within which the main attractions are located: the town hall, the Jacques Cartier bridge, the Notre-Dame de Montreal church, the clock tower and other tourist attractions. The history of this part of the city began in the 17th century, when the French settlement of Ville-Marie was founded. The British colonists also made a significant contribution to the appearance of Old Montreal.
A small hill with three peaks, located in the urban area of Montreal. The main attractions of Mont-Royal are a stone cross over 30 meters high and the Oratory of St. Joseph - one of the largest Catholic churches in Canada. In 1876, a park appeared on the slopes of the hill, which eventually became a popular vacation spot for the residents of Montreal. In summer they ride bicycles here, and in winter they ski.
Old Port of Montreal
An important transport hub in the past and a space for walks and recreation in the present. Despite the loss of its strategic importance, the old port is still active, and ships often come here. Tourist ships also dock here. Along the embankment there is a cozy square, which is pleasant to stroll around on a fine day. The port has an IMAX cinema and the city's science museum.
Oratory of Saint Joseph
Catholic basilica built at the beginning of the 20th century. At first it was a modest chapel, accommodating a small number of parishioners. In 1917, it became necessary to expand and a larger church was built. The third phase of construction began in 1924 and continued until 1967. The founder of the temple, brother Andre, was famous for his miraculous deeds, so the basilica was visited by numerous pilgrims.
Notre Dame Cathedral of Montreal
Montreal Cathedral, located within the historical center of the city. The building was built in neo-gothic style. Its 70-meter bell towers dominate all surrounding buildings. The temple was erected in 1672 at the expense of the Catholic community. In 1924, architect D. O'Donell began work on a new building. After construction was completed in 1872, the basilica became the largest religious building in North America.
Cathedral of Mary Queen of Peace
Catholic temple of the late XIX century, located in the modern district of Montreal, surrounded by skyscrapers. The building was built in the Baroque and Renaissance styles. Its forms copy the outlines of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Of course, the Montreal Cathedral is much smaller than its Roman prototype, and there are also differences in interior decoration. But in general, it is a reduced copy of the latter.
The temple was erected in the 18th century on the ruins of an old chapel that was damaged by fire. The building was built in an interesting Norman Gothic style. A small museum of Marguerite Bourgeois, the holy founder of the female monastic order of the Mother of God, was opened at the temple. The exposition acquaints visitors with the early history of Montreal, the church itself, as well as the worldly deeds of Marguerite.
The main cultural complex of Montreal, one of the largest in all of Canada. It is located in the eastern part of the city. The Arts Square is a multifunctional center where spectators can enjoy opera, ballet, drama, concerts, as well as contemplate the fine arts. The complex was created in 1963 on the initiative of Mayor J. Drapou.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The gallery is considered one of the largest and most famous in all of North America. It was founded as the Fine Arts Association in the middle of the 19th century. The collection contains more than 30 thousand items from different eras, including an extensive art exhibition with paintings by famous European painters. Most of the collection was received as a gift from local patrons.
Archaeological Museum, which was opened in 1992 to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Montreal. The complex of buildings is located in the heart of the Old Town. The museum consists of exhibition halls, a multimedia center, auditoriums for conferences and research rooms. It has its own permanent exhibition and quite often temporary exhibitions are held.
The Montreal Biodome combines a science center, an ecological park with imitation of five ecosystems at once, and a zoo under one roof. It is located in the building of the former velodrome built for the 1976 Olympics. The main mission of the center is education in the field of ecology and promotion of a responsible attitude to the environment. Lectures are often given here and films about nature are shown.
The basis of the insectarium collection was a frequent meeting of the entomologist J. Brossard. Thanks to him, a special place appeared in the city where visitors can look at all possible insects. The insectarium opened to the public in 1990 and has since become one of Montreal's most visited attractions. More than 250 thousand different species are represented here, more than 100 of them are alive.
A unique museum located on the island of St. Helena. Its exposition is dedicated to the water resources of the St. Lawrence River. The unusual structure resembles a huge soap bubble made of metal lace, inside of which engineering structures are located. The Biosphere was created for the 1967 World's Fair and later placed at the disposal of the city authorities. The museum opened in 1990.
montreal city hall
The building of the city council, located in the historical center. The first town hall was built according to the project of A.-M. Perrault and A. Hutchison in the "second Empire" style. As a result of a fire in 1922, only the walls remained of the building. Restoration work was carried out under the supervision of L. Parent, who gave the building the features of a Beaux-Arts style. In 1984, the town hall was recognized as a national monument.
An unusual residential complex in the brutalist style, designed by M. Safdie in the 60s of the XX century. It was built for the opening of the World Exhibition in 1967, the theme of which was residential construction. In essence, Habitat 67 is an apartment building consisting of cubes fused together. Due to the design features, each apartment owner has his own private garden on the roof of his neighbor.
A system of tunnels, passages, halls, metro stations and shopping arcades located underground. Some residents refer to this space as "inner Montreal". It also has residential apartments, offices, cinemas and restaurants, among which it is easy enough to get lost. Often, residents use the roads of the "underground city" to avoid traffic jams and get to the place faster.
Bonsecour is not quite a market in the usual sense. Rather, it can be considered a shopping center, which houses some of the most expensive stores in Montreal. Small boutiques sell furniture, crockery, stone and wood crafts, clothes, paintings and jewelry. All this variety of trade occupies a monumental building of the 19th century, which looks more like a hall for parliamentary sessions.
Market "Jean Talon"
A farmer's market selling healthy and wholesome food. On the shelves of buyers waiting for a huge variety of fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and herbs. Everything looks quite fresh, appetizing and quite inexpensive considering the local price level. From the exotic - zucchini flowers, which, it turns out, can be fried and eaten. They taste just as good as the zucchini.
Circuit named after Gilles Villeneuve
The circuit hosts the Canadian stage of the Formula 1 race (Canada Grand Prix). It is a rather winding track laid among lakes and park pavilions. There are many sharp turns here, which requires professionalism and maximum concentration of attention from pilots. Interestingly, outside of racing, some sections of the circuit are used as public roads.
montreal botanical garden
In 2008, the garden was designated a Natural Landmark in Canada due to the incredible variety of species found within. Plants from all over the world are collected here. Under the open sky, there are several thematic zones dedicated to individual countries or places on the planet: China, Japan, the Alps, the northern territories. The garden was founded in 1931 at the height of the Great Depression.