We're staying in a large, comfortable campground just across the Jacques-Cartier Bridge and the St. Laurent (as it's called here) River from Vieux-Montreal.
|Jacques Cartier Bridge - Built in 1930|
Named for the French explorer 1491-1557
Everything in Quebec (including Montreal), is French only. Yes, that includes road construction signs which is a nightmare for English only visitors but the Quebecers don't seem to care. This is a topic of much discussion in Canada. With enough to worry 'bout in our own country, Wayne and I will leave this debate to the Canadian people but I will include a particularly thorny episode to this debate a little deeper in this post.
We've both been to Montreal previously, but this is our first visit since retirement. We're looking forward to a leisurely time in the old part of the city, particularly.
|Lexie (looking this way) and Ozzie. Silver Bonsecours Market Dome in the background|
|We're stopped along Place Jacques-Cartier. |
An early 19th century marketplace known as one of city's liveliest spots, with artists, street performers and outdoor cafes.
|Wayne with Lexie and Ozzie, enjoying a day out in the stroller with pop.|
The monument has indeed been the source of controversy. In 1890, a group plotted to blow it up but did not succeed. In 1930, another group erected a statue in another city square commemorating a French Naval officer who fought during the Seven Years' War. In fact, many Quebecers continue to object to the presence of Lord Nelson's column. As recent as 1997, the City of Montreal proposed moving the monument to a distant location but public opposition kept it in place.
I kinda got a kick out of seeing Lord Nelson's column. After all, the English did win the war.
Oh, I said that already, didn't I?
The inscription on Lord Nelson's column: "In memory of the right honourable Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, Duke of Bronte, who terminated his career of Naval glory in the memorable battle of Trafalgar on the 21st of October, 1805, after inculcating by signal this sentiment: England Expects Every Man Will Do his Duty. This monument column was erected by the inhabitants of Montreal in the year 1808"
|Cobblestone streets closed to auto traffic. |
Makes me think of New Orleans but cleaner.
"Vive le Quebec libre!"
|Montreal City Hall |
Built 1872-1878. It survived a disastrous fire in 1922.
The phrase shouted by de Gaulle is still used frequently by Quebecers who continue to favor Quebec sovereignty.
President de Gaulle's statement sparked a diplomatic incident between France and Canada and was condemned by Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, who said "Canadians do not need to be liberated". Even in France, de Gaulle's speech was condemned in the French media. Over four decades later, it is still seen as a seminal moment in English and French Canadian relations and politics. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Notre Dame BasilicaSuch an awe inspiring building: This church's Gothic revival architecture ranks high in the most dramatic anywhere. Notre Dame Basicica's interior is painted dark blue and decorated with golden stars. The deep blue, azure, red, purple, silver and gold sanctuary is filled with hundreds of intricate wooden carvings and statues.
Unlike most churches (Catholic or otherwise), the stained glass windows do not depict scenes from the Bible. Instead, there are religious scenes from Montreal's past.
|Notre Dame Basilica|
Old Port of MontrealA close look at the photo below reveals two buildings with a monument in front of the one on the right. The monument, erected in 1908, is of John Young, the first Chairman of Montreal's Port Commission and was responsible for most of the development in the mid-1800's. He is considered the "Father of the Port"
|L: Harbour Commissioners Building - Completed in 1878|
R: Allen Building and statue of Hon. John Young
|At the Mount Royal overlook|
The view from the roadside pull-out (without binoculars) in the photo below:
|Montreal's Biodome and the Olympic Stadium|
Saint Joseph OratoryThe St. Joseph Oratory and shrine are situated on the west slope of Mount Royal. The basilica is dedicated to Saint Joseph, who so inspired a young Alfred Bessette (whose religious name became Brother Andre in 1874), that he seemed to perform miracles in the name of Saint Joseph, mainly in areas of healing the sick. Brother Andre never would accept credit for the miracles but gave all credit to Saint Joseph.
|Saint Joseph's Oratory|
Largest church in Canada, third largest dome (of it's kind) in the world.
Construction began in 1924