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Notre Dame Basilica

Listed under Churches & Abbeys in Montreal, Canada.

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'Work began in 1824. It took two years to erect the walls and the façade as far as the base of the towers. The wooden framework was completed in 1827 and the vaulting and original interior were finished in 1829. The whole building, including the towers, is rectangular in shape, contrary to the custom which generally kept the towers and facade separate. With Notre-Dame, O'Donnell introduced the neo-gothic vocabulary to religious architecture north of the United States. The porch is composed of arcades with cross-ribbed vaulting and the towers are supported by buttresses surmounted by pinnacles. Rose-windows, window-tracery and crenels complete the décor. It should be noted that the neo-gothic elements are used more for a decorative effect than a structural one, the overall effect and the symbolic value taking precedence over the logic of the construction which is inspired more by traditional classicism which was firmly established during the 17th and 18th centuries.'

Quebec Religious Heritage Foundation.

Written by press.

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