Old Montreal, Montreal
Photo : Walking from Métro Place d'Armes to the Basilique Notre-Dame and Old Montreal.
At the blue columns on the right, there's La Popessa, a formula eatery, "Universal Pasta, Fast Cuisine & Healthy Meals", cafeteria style. I saw weekend dads with kids walking up to it & inside. Popular with the young crowd. On Saint-Antoine West, corner Saint-Urbain.
A short story about La Popessa -
In tarot, La Popessa refers to the High Priestess. The card may have been inspired by legendary Pope Joan, thought to have reigned between 1086 & 1108.
-- John Anglicus, born at Mainz, was Pope John VIII for a while. John was a woman...
who went to Athens as a young girl, disguised as a man. She learned so much that once in Rome, no one could equal her. She gained a great reputation & was made Pope. But she became pregnant & had a child during a procession from St Peter's to the Lateran, in a lane called Via Sacra, now known as "Via evitata" (the "shunned street") between the Coliseum and St Clement's church.
"The Lord Pope always turns aside from the street [...] because of abhorrence of the event. (Martin of Opava, Chronicon Pontificum et Imperatorum).
Fondest memory: While on a visit to Rome, I walked along Via Sacra from the Coliseum to St Clement's, and on to the Lateran. I didn't know about Popessa Joan at the time...
Some say Popessa Giovanna was lapidated by an angry mob when the baby appeared...
I had found the street so quiet and inviting, had stopped for an expresso, dolce farniente! now I'm not so sure...
Sister Pascalina, who was the confidant of Pope Pius XII, is also known as La Popessa, as it's a "title" often given to women who have influence over a pope.
Food for thought while you're eating your fettucine alfredo at Restaurant La Popessa on rue Saint Antoine in Montreal.
At Place d'Armes in Old Montreal the statue of Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve is located.
Paul was a French military officer and the founder of Montréal. He was born at February 15, 1612 and left from La Rochelle in 1641. After a difficult crossing of the Atlantic Ocean he arrived in Quebec City and spent the winter there. He was hired by the Jesuit Jérome le Royer de la Dauversiere to help with the start of a new settlement. He lead the settlers and after conquering the local Iroquois Ville-Marie was founded.
The sculpture is by Louis-Philippe Hebert.
A Clean City! It's truly impressive how impressive Vieux Montreal (the old city). The fact that many of the streets are pedestrianized helps a lot - it keeps down both air and noise pollution. In fact, I think that Montreal is noticeably cleaner than most comparable European cities.
The first two pictures are from my 1996 visit to the city, while the photos of the old warehouses along the quai are from 2008.
Go to Old Montreal (METRO Place d'Armes) and walk around. The city is faboulous for walking in any season. There are many new boutique hotels (Gault Hotel, Hotel Nelligan, Hotel Saint-Paul, Hotel Saint-James) in Old Montreal and the area is seeing a veritable renaissance. Lots of good restos as well. Check out the Notre-Dame Basilica at Place d'Armes.....the most beautiful blue interior.
Fondest memory: When I am away from my home I miss the openess, the acceptance, the freedom and the joie de vivre in the city. I miss the people. Oh yeah, and I miss the bagels :-)
Favorite thing: It was a cold winter morning as we strolled through the old town. Everything was still closed, and it was nice to window shop without a soul insight! Not too much to do here, as it was the middle of winter, but you should visit. Here I am in the main square, called Place Jacques Cartier.
This is a view of the promenade along the Old Port with Bonsecours Market and the Jacques Cartier bridge in the background.
In summertime this is a very popular area for both locals and tourists. Usually constant activity going on and lots of family-friendly things to do (Montreal Science Center, Imax theatre, Bonsecour basin, etc.) Also where tickets for river cruises and riding the Lachine rapids can be bought.
Fondest memory: Beautiful area on a summer afternoon or evening, like this one in mid-August.
Favorite thing: For many North Americans Vieux Montreal is the closest that they will get the European atmosphere. This old town of one of North America's oldest towns has been handsomely restored in an attempt to make it look like it did in the 18th century. Vieux Montreal caters to the tourists' taste. It full of decent restaurants, cafes and bars. It is also home to the rather aged Hotel de Ville (City Hall) and the Basilique Notre-Dame which probably the most beautiful place of worship that I visited in Canada.
I went to Montreal for just a night.
I could only go to Old Montreal, but it was an unforgettable night for me.
When I get there, it was night time.
It was soooooo romantic and beautiful place.
I've never been such a wonderful place.
I recommend you to go there with a person you really love.
There are lots of musicians, artists.
I'm sure you'll have fun!!!!!
In planning our trip to Canada I came acros this excellent website about Old Montreal:
It has lots of really detailed information about Vieux Montreal and an amazing knowledge base with interactive maps which let you examine detailed information from the city records about every building in the area, including pictures (recent and archive), construction and architectural notes, ownership and current usage etc. and this for every single building in the area. There are even notes on each street and piece of public art.
The direct link to the knowledge base is here:
This is by far the best civic/architectural heritage site that I have seen.
But I will have to wait until November to see if the actual reality lives up to the virtual representation of this website.
We shall see!
To The Atwater Market and Park beside the newly renovated Lachine canal with its walking and Bike paths all along the canal and into the City.
Fondest memory: Visiting The Lachine canal by guided boat tour and The International Mosaicultures with guide
Favorite thing: The Place d'Armes, a pleasant square in Vieux-Montréal, features some interesting sights. Gracing the southern end of the place is the breath-catching Basilique Notre-Dame (1829), among the city's most famed (meaning crowded) sites and religious shrines. The Banque de Montréal (1847) is among the most beautiful commercial buildings in the city, and the art deco Ames Building is quite spectacular. Next door, the Bank of Québec (1889) was Montréal's first skyscraper. In the centre of the square is the landmark statue of Paul de Chomedy, Sieur de Maissoneuve, founder of Montréal.
La Place Jacques-Cartier et le Vieux-Montréal
The hearth of Old Montreal, the Jacques-Cartier plaza is hosting restaurants and bars, opened with terasses during fair weather. Visit the docks and activities presented there.
Fondest memory: Skating on the bassin located between the East docks during the winter.
Le bateau Mouche at Old Montreal is a tourist excursion boat, that will let you see the Saint Lawerance river and Montreal.
Departures from Jacques-Cartier Pier
every day from Mid-May to Mid-October
at: 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Dinner-cruise at 7 p.m.
Boarding: 30 minutes before departure
(514) 849-9952 or 1 800 361-9952
Fax (514) 849-9851
Regular Day Tour Rates
$17.00 Students/Seniors 65+
$9.00 Children (12-)
The oldest part of the city, is adjacent to the downtown area. Its old buildings, Notre-Dame church for example, are part of the city's invaluable heritage.
Fondest memory: The Old Port, which is part of Old Montréal is located on the Saint Lawrence. The Musée d'archéologie et d'histoire Pointe-à-Callière occupies the site of the original village, founded in 1642. A visit to this cellars of the impressive building takes you into Montréal's very first sewers. An exhibition has been set up there which retraces the history of Montréal, from the era of the early Amerindians to modern day.
Explore Vieux-Montreal with all historic sights around the Place Jacques-Cartier, which is the gathering and street entertainment site in the area.
Put a special emphasis on the Notre-Dame Basilica (see photo) with the Sacred Heart Chapel.
But also the City Hall from 1878 and the Bonsecours Market as a bustling marketplace with shops and exhibitions are worth a visit.