Sunday, July 1, 2018

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Spirit

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.


  1. The stained glass windows are exquisite.

  2. Happy Canada Day William! A great post as always.

  3. ...I saw it from afar, thanks for taking me up close. Have a Happy Canada day my friend.

  4. "...a spider called Maman"

    That is creepy. Is that like Mammon in the bible: you can't serve both God and mammon (money)? I should look it up.... But probably it is something else because it's spelled differently.

    I like how you took the photo of the spider with the cathedral. It clashes, though it is the same silhouette.

  5. Love the colours in the church. I am happy spiders are much smaller than that sculpture!

  6. Wonderful choice for the theme William, the Basilica is incroyable and beautifully shown here. Hope you are having a super Canada Day ✨

  7. I like that shot with the spider sculpture in front of it. Very nice.

  8. @Rosemary: they are!

    @Denise: thank you.

    @Tom: you're welcome.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Sandi: I think it means mother.

    @Marie: this one is huge.

    @Grace: just getting my day started.

    @Sharon: thank you!

  9. Tremendous amount of art in the basilica. On could spend a lot of time going through the basilica.

  10. The whole place is amazing. Every pic was uplifting, William!

  11. Hello, the church is beautiful. I always love the stained glass windows. Happy Canada Day! Enjoy your day and new week ahead!

  12. Happy Canada Day to you ~ beautiful photos of amazing church ~

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  13. That is one giant spider :-) I love the composition with the spider in front of the church. Inside the church is beautiful. Gorgeous photos!

  14. I agree with you; this looks like a marvelous place to visit, inside and out. Happy Canada Day!

  15. wow, what gorgeous views. love all the colors. Happy Canada Day 2 u!! enjoy! ( ;

  16. Die große Spinne ist klasse die Bilder aus dem inneren der Kirche sind sehr schön.


  17. @Red: it's quite a church.

    @RedPat: thank you!

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @Carol: it's a beauty.

    @Tamago: yes, quite a spider!

    @Kay: thank you!

    @Beth: thanks!

    @Noke: thank you.

  18. Beautiful photos and a great choice for the theme. Happy Canada Day William.

  19. An amazing basilica that looks European. Too bad some ugly spider sculpture stands in front of it.

  20. It is so much brighter and lighter than similar sized churches in Europe.

  21. It's great choice for the theme.

  22. The picture of the church with the spider lurking is a classic!

  23. Magnificient is a good way to describe it.

  24. It's a beautiful church. I like the tour of the inside better than the view of the outside through the legs of the spider.

  25. It's all very cool, even the spider. Happy Canada Day to you! :-)

  26. An imponent church. Very beautiful!
    Hope you had a great Canada Day. It was a very, very hot Canada Day. In Toronto if felt like 40+ degrees

  27. I'm sorry I'm too late to wish you Happy Canada Day, but your serie for the theme 'Spirit' is very beautiful.

  28. @Bill: thanks!

    @Eve: the spider is very popular!

    @Fun60: it seems to evoke European church architecture.

    @Klara: thank you.

    @Catalyst: I think so!

    @Mari: it definitely is.

    @Barbara: I figured anyone with problems with spiders might not like that first view!

    @DJan: thanks!

    @Catarina: it was hot here too. I had a very long day yesterday.

    @Jan: thank you!

  29. Oh William, I've been offline a few days. I'm so sorry I missed wishing you happy Canada Day on the day! This church is just magnificent. I really do think it's one of the loveliest I've seen -- so many wonderful details. And I love the spider sculpture too.

    1. It's a grand church. It's certainly one of the most iconic churches in the country.

  30. I hope all who celebrated had a wonderful Canada Day.

    Once again, some beautiful photographs.

    All the best Jan