Yesterday, we walked in the opposite direction, all the way up to Mont-Royal, Montreal’s mountain. It’s a stiff climb, about 760 feet, but worth it for the views.
The park at the top is the equivalent of New York’s Central Park, in fact it was laid out by the same person, and we spent most of the morning wandering around its many paths. In the afternoon, we visited the nearby Oratoire St Joseph along with what seemed like a good number of the other two million annual visitors. Its founder was Brother Andre Besette, who died in his 90s in 1937, when one million people filed past his coffin, and was canonised in 2010. You can still see his original, tiny chapel alongside the magnificent edifice of the main church and it’s museums and gardens. We took far too many photographs of this imposing site – there are a few below and, as before, more are on my Montreal board on Pinterest.
Oratory from Mont-Royal. The copper dome is one of the largest in the world and you can see it from miles around.
The Oratory is set in lovely gardens.
A view of Montreal from the terrace in front of the church.
Behind the church, the Gardens of the Way of the Cross wind back up the mountain.
Father Andre’s original church.
We thought this would be a quick visit on or way somewhere else, but we stayed nearly three hours! We were exhausted by then and got the Metro back to recover. After a suitable rest, we headed off for Rue St Paul again for dinner and found Les Pyrenees, an excellent Spanish restaurant with a good selection of vegetarian dishes.
So ended our final day in Montreal. It was a brief visit at the start of our holiday but has left a lasting impression. There would be so much more to do – we went to no art galleries for example – that it is definitely on the list to come back to.