Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa Ontario

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa Ontario

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa Ontario
385 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada located on 385 Sussex Drive in the Lower Town neighbourhood. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.

The site was originally home to the small wooden St. Jacques Church built in 1832. This structure was destroyed in 1841 to make way for a larger church, designed by local builder Antoine Robillard and Father John Francis Cannon who requested a Neo-classical design.[4]

However, in 1844, after the lower section was completed, the Oblate Fathers (OMI) assumed stewardship of the parish and Father Pierre-Adrien Telmon was sent from France to finish the construction.[5] Father Telmon decided to redesign the church into a Neo-Gothic structure, a style which was growing in popularity.[6] This resulted in the lower features, such as the main entrance, being Neo-Classical, while the upper portions of the structure are Neo-Gothic.[4]

The main structure was completed in 1846. In 1847, the church was designated the cathedral of Bytown and Joseph-Bruno Guigues was appointed the first bishop. He is honoured with a lifesize statue at the southwest corner of the cathedral grounds.[7] In 1859, Father Damase Dandurand, OMI, designed the two Gothic spires which were added to the west front in 1866. Earlier, in 1849-50, he designed the Archbishop’s Palace and in 1862-63, added the choir loft.[8] In 1879, Pope Leo XIII designated the cathedral as a minor basilica.

The steeples are covered with tin, which is typical for French-Canadian churches, and house a peal of bells. The exterior is fairly reserved, but the interior is as far more ornate, designed by Georges Buillon. The interior of the church is brightly painted and decorated with carved features, exquisite stained glass windows and hundreds of statues of various religious figures. Louis-Philippe Hébert completed thirty large wooden sculptures in the choir. At the end of the choir, the Holy Family is completed with saints John the Baptist and Patrick, the patron saints of French and Irish Catholics.[9]

James R. Bowes, architect, designed new galleries and other improvements in 1875.[10]

The Basilica is the oldest and largest church in Ottawa and the seat of the city’s Roman Catholic archbishop. Its twin spires and gilded Madonna are easily identifiable from nearby Parliament Hill and the surrounding area. The church was last renovated and restored in the late 1990s. Services are held in both French and English.

Governor General Georges Vanier and Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier both were given state funerals at the Cathedral.

Information Source: Wikepedia





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