Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians! The first day of each month is always a theme day for members of City Daily Photo, and this July 1st, that theme is Spirit. Have a look at how other members are taking on this theme right here.
I felt it appropriate to go with a religious take on the theme, and for that, the most iconic church in the national capital felt appropriate, particularly given the significance of today. Notre Dame Basilica stands in a prominent part of the city, across from the National Gallery of Canada and within sight of Parliament Hill. I have often featured it in shots, and I thought it suitable to feature on this day in and of itself. This first view looks at it from the exterior of the National Gallery, where a large sculpture of a spider called Maman stands. Odds are I'll be paying a visit to the Gallery today- there's a temporary exhibit going on at the moment about Impressionists with a collection from a gallery in Denmark.
A church first occupied this site in 1832, in the first years of the city. It was soon replaced by a more commanding structure, built over time, that by 1879 was designated as a basilica by the Pope. It combines elements of Neo-Classical and Neo-Gothic architecture, and is the seat of the diocese. The largest church in the city, Notre Dame is on the list of National Historic Sites.
The basilica is open during the day, with masses in English and French held on a regular schedule. When masses aren't on, visitors can come on in and have a look. From time to time there are guides inside offering an insider's look at the place. It is magnificent inside.
Stained glass windows depicting bibilical moments line the sanctuary interior.
Secondary altars with lit candles are off to the sides of the main altar. This is one of them.
Wooden sculptures are arranged around the main altar- prophets and patriarchs of the Old Testament, disciples and apostles of the New Testament, with the Holy Family at the heart of it all, flanked by sculptures of Saint John The Baptist and Saint Patrick.
Here we have the other secondary altar.
The Gothic arches in here are dramatic, with religious symbols found among them. The ceiling carries a star motif. The Basilica is a marvelous place to visit.