FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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 an important part of what allows us to carry out the maintenance and restoration work necessary to ensure the sustainability of Notre-Dame so that future generations can also visit and admire it. We are grateful for any contribution made through the entrance fee, including yours. Thank you!

 

Is the basilica accessible to persons with reduced mobility?

Yes: Notre-Dame Basilica is certified partially accessible by Kéroul. For more information, visit our fact sheet on Kéroul's website.

 

In what year was the basilica built?

Notre-Dame Basilica was built between 1824 and 1829. Its towers were completed later, respectively in 1841 (west tower, named Perseverance) and 1843 (east tower, named Temperance).

 

Can I get married at the basilica?

Yes, it is possible to get married in the basilica itself or in the Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Cœur chapel. For more information, visit the Weddings page.

 

Are there concerts at the basilica?

Yes, visit the Concerts section for more information.

 

When can the organ be heard?

Masses on Saturday and Sunday are accompanied by the organ, and Sunday mass at 11 a.m. is also accompanied by the Notre-Dame choir. Concerts are also held regularly at the basilica; consult the Concerts section for more information. On Sunday evenings in the summer, the Grand Organ Festival of Montréal is the place to be for organ lovers; visit the Festival page for more information.

 

Is Notre-Dame of Montréal a replica of Notre-Dame of Paris?

No. At the time of construction, critics associated the style of Notre-Dame of Montréal with that of Notre-Dame of Paris: this is a mistake. Notre-Dame of Montréal is in the English Gothic Revival style: its towers are very slender in relation to the central part, its volume emphasizes verticality and its facade has little ornamentation.

Moreover, during a trip to France, Father Rousselot had been impressed by the Sainte Chapelle in Paris because of its style and symbolism. He suggested that the architect Victor Bourgeau, who designed the interior decoration of Notre-Dame of Montréal, be inspired by it. The interior decoration thus evokes the French neo-Gothic style: the blue vault decorated with golden stars and the decorative motifs on the columns recall the interior of the Sainte Chapelle.

 

Who does the basilica belong to?

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal belongs to and is managed by La Fabrique de la paroisse Notre-Dame de Montréal, a non-profit organization that also manages Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery.

 

What is the difference between a cathedral and a basilica?

A cathedral is the church of a bishopric or archdiocese, which 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. In 1982, Pope John Paul II raised Notre-Dame Church to the rank of basilica. A cathedral may also be called a basilica, as is the case for the Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in Montréal. There are two other basilicas in Montreal: Saint Joseph's Oratory and Saint Patrick's Basilica.

 

Is this where Céline Dion got married?

Yes, on December 17, 1994, in a ceremony with about 500 guests. Her son René-Charles was baptized in Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur Chapel on July 25, 2001 in the presence of about 250 guests. The funeral of her husband, René Angélil, also took place at the basilica on January 22, 2016, in the presence of approximately 1,500 people.

 

For any question regarding AURA, please visit the FAQ section available on aurabasilicamontreal.com.