Montreal Attractions: Basilique Notre-Dame
The most significant of all Montreal attractions is this mammoth Gothic Revival undertaking designed by Irish architect James O’Donnell and built between 1824 and 1829. This thriving Catholic church has a stunning medieval-style interior that features walnut-wood carvings, exquisite stained-glass windows, 24-carat gold stars in a vaulted blue ceiling, as well as one of the largest Casavant organs in North America. Don’t miss the fine art paintings in the nave and the impressive Chapelle du Sacre-Coeur hidden behind the altar.
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Quebec City Attractions: La Citadelle
Dramatically set atop Cap Diamant in Quebec City, this installation of 10 buildings is the largest military fortification in North America. Overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the site was begun by the French in 1750, but much of the striking star-shaped battlement seen today was constructed by the British between 1820 and 1850, built to defend the city from possible invasion from the United States, in the 19th century. The fort is an active home to the Royal 22nd Regiment of the Canadian Forces and daily military spectacles are staged to entertain visitors during the summer months.
Montreal Attractions: Parc du Mont-Royal
The geographic highlight of all Montreal attractions is undeniably Mont-Royal’s steep slopes. Named by Jacques Cartier in 1535, the protected district of Parc du Mont-Royal covers more than 343 acres of forested mountain, providing abundant green spaces, shrubs and flowers, as well as habitats for hundreds of species of birds and other wildlife. Designed in 1876 by Frederick Law Olmsted, Mont-Royal continues to inspire locals as an arboreal delight in the centre of their metropolis. Activity options, depending on the time of year, include skating, cycling, paddle-boating, tobogganing and snowshoeing. To the northwest of the park is the impressive Oratoire St-Joseph.
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