Saturday, August 24, 2019

A Catholic Basilica

While I was photographing the churches in yesterday's post, this one was one of my destinations. The Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is a national historic site of Canada. A Gothic Revival wonder of the Victorian era, this is the third Catholic church to stand on the highest ground in the city, Catholic Hill. The main structure was built between 1876-88, though the Catholic presence here dates to the earliest times of settlement. The towers were finished in 1926. Pope Francis gave it the designation of basilica in 2014. It shares the hill with the former convent that now houses the Guelph Civic Museum.

It is a good walk up from street level to the front doors, more than a hundred steps in all (there is a parking lot by the museum, so only the crazy like yours truly would go up these steps these days). This is part of the way up, where a statue of Our Lady is positioned.

Further up is a garden with religious statues.

And the basilica itself. Designed by Joseph Connolly, it is majestic outside and inside. I have been inside before, but on both occasions I came up here during this visit, it was locked this time out. 

Here we have the view from the top of the hill down into Guelph's core. 

Whilst here we have a view from down in the core a half hour or so later, when the skies had gotten particularly threatening. Our Lady Immaculate dominates the skyline in downtown Guelph.

The following day was much more pleasant. I came with my brother to the museum. Here we have a view of the northwest corner of the basilica.


  1. It has a very commanding position. Like churches in many towns.

  2. I wanted to visit the cathedral but it was closed. I will have to go back...

  3. I can recognize the characteristic Catholic symbols...

  4. Religion sure has dominated architecture. In Europe this would be a major attraction. In Guelph most rarely give it a moment's thought. Other than photographers visiting from Ottawa perhaps.

  5. Very impressive! Beautiful architecture.

  6. Hello, what a beautiful church, the statues are lovely. I really like the 4th photo of the statue in front. Happy weekend!

  7. Top! What a nice building! Het lijkt veel ouder dan het is.

  8. Isn't it amazing? All that detail!

  9. makes its presence known in the skyline.

  10. A very large building, spectacular! Amazing what has been created in the name of religion.

  11. That is a very impressive church!

  12. @Joan: very commanding.

    @Catarina: you should.

    @parsnip: definitely.

    @Italiafinlandia: quite so.

    @David: true!

    @Marleen: I agree.

    @Karl: definitely.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Anvilcloud: indeed.

    @Aritha: thanks.

    @Sandi: lots of that.

    @Tom: it does.

    @Shammickite: quite true.

  13. Such an architectural statement made by the basilica! I liked that you could give us shots looking down on the town, and up toward the church.

  14. It is a beauty! I like that statue of Mary.

  15. Very ornate. You show the Basilica from a few different angles which gives a much better view of the building.

  16. The Basilica is a magnificent piece of architecture William and beautifully shown here ✨

  17. @Sharon: definitely!

    @Iris: I thought so.

    @Barbara: it's quite a view from up there.

    @RedPat: I find it a very impressive church.

    @Red: I love the architectural style.

    @Grace: thank you!

  18. Great site for that cool building and grounds, William!

  19. It is very beautiful. I think the brooding clouds in that first picture make it simply stunning. :-)

  20. Wow that last picture is fantastic. Looks more like a castle than a church.

  21. Wow! That's a church and a half. It's huge!

  22. absolutely gorgeous!! so pretty. those details. ( ;

  23. Wonderful series of photos of the catholic church ^_^

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

  24. The basilica is very imposing. That NW corner with the grounded turrets looks interesting.

  25. Such beautiful architecture...

    All the best Jan

  26. The picture of the boat at Rideau Falls is the view from my condo at Le Viu.

  27. @Cloudia: definitely.

    @DJan: I think so too.

    @Bill: that it is.

    @Happyone: it does.

    @Eve: they are.

    @Joanne: indeed.

  28. @Kay: it is big.

    @Beth: quite grand.

    @Carol: thank you!

    @Jeanie: indeed.

    @Jan: I agree.

    @Micheline: small world, isn't it?

    @Klara: definitely.