Overlooking the Place d’Armes in the very center of Old Montreal, this impressive twin-towered church was designed by James O’Donnell, an Irish-American Protestant architect from New York. O’Donnell was inspired by Gothic architecture and he wanted to bring it to North America.
The construction of the basilica began in 1824 and took many decades to complete. Although the church was inaugurated in 1829, the structure was only completed after the architect’s death: the first tower in 1841, the second - in 1843 and the interior - only in the 1880s. O’Donnell converted to catholicism before his death, which made his burial inside his own creation possible.
Today, the Notre-Dame Basilica is one of the best-known landmarks in Montreal.