Frequently asked questions
In what year was the basilica built?
Notre-Dame Basilica was built between 1824 and 1829. Its towers were completed later in 1841 (west tower, named Perseverance) and 1843 (east tower, named Temperance).
Can I get married at the basilica?
Yes, it’s possible to get married in the nave of the Basilica itself or in the Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur Chapel. For more information, visit the Marriage page.
Who owns the basilica?
The Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal belongs to La Fabrique de la paroisse Notre-Dame de Montréal, a non-profit organization that also manages Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery.
Are there any concerts at the basilica?
Yes. See the Music section for more information.
Why do we have to pay to enter the basilica?
Notre-Dame Basilica is managed by La Fabrique de la paroisse Notre-Dame de Montréal, a non-profit organization that has full responsibility for its maintenance and restoration. The entrance fee is a key part of what allows us to do the required maintenance and restoration work to ensure that Notre-Dame will be around for future generations to visit and admire. We are grateful for any contribution you make through your entrance fee. Thank you!
What is the difference between a cathedral and a basilica?
A cathedral is the church of a bishop or archbishop, who is responsible for the administration of a diocese. A basilica is a title given to a church in recognition of its religious, historical, architectural and artistic value. Pope John Paul II raised the church to the rank of basilica in 1982. A cathedral can also be designated a basilica, as is the case for the Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde in Montréal. There are two other basilicas in Montréal: Saint Joseph's Oratory and Saint Patrick's Basilica.
Is this where Céline Dion got married?
Yes, on December 17, 1994, during a ceremony with about 500 guests. Her son René-Charles was baptized in the Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur Chapel on July 25, 2001, with about 250 guests. The funeral for her husband, René Angélil, was also held at the basilica on January 22, 2016, with approximately 1,500 people in attendance.
When can I hear the organ?
Sightseeing visits include an organ performance, by M. Pierre Grandmaison, on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 1 p.m. The Saturday and Sunday Masses are also accompanied by organ music. See the Music section for more information.
Is the basilica accessible to people with reduced mobility?
The Notre-Dame Basilica is rated as partially accessible by Kéroul. There is a mobility ramp granting easy access to our main entrance. For more information, please read our page on the Kéroul website.
I'm experiencing a problem buying tickets online. What do I do?
For any problem with online ticketing, contact Ticketpro by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-866-908-9090.
Can I get a refund or exchange?
Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. For all inquiries regarding tickets purchased online, contact Ticketpro by email at email@example.com or by phone at 1-866-908-9090. For all inquiries regarding tickets purchased on-site, please contact 1-866-842-2925 and dial extension 223.
Is Notre-Dame de Montréal a replica of Notre-Dame de Paris?
No. Critics associated the style of Notre-Dame de Montréal with that of Notre-Dame de Paris when it was built. That was a mistake. Notre-Dame de Montréal is in the English Gothic Revival style: its towers are very slender in relation to its central core, its volume emphasizes verticality, and its façade has little ornamentation.
During a trip to France, pastor Rousselot was impressed by the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris because of its style and symbolism. He suggested that architect Victor Bourgeau, who designed the interior of Notre-Dame de Montréal, take inspiration from it. The Basilica’s interior decoration is reminiscent of the French neo-Gothic style: the blue vault decorated with golden stars and the decorative motifs on the columns are reminiscent of the interior of the lower chapel of the Sainte-Chapelle.