Chapel of Our Lady of Good Help (Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours), Montreal

Chapel of Our Lady of Good Help (Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours), Montreal

The Chapel of Our Lady of Good Help (Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours) was built in 1771 as the first pilgrimage site in the Old Port of Montreal for the arrived sailors who wished to make offerings to the Virgin in gratitude for her "good help" in a safe voyage across the Atlantic. It is also the oldest surviving chapel in the Old City.

The church sits directly on top of an older temple – of 1675 – that was destroyed by fire. The foundations of the first church, uncovered recently during excavations in the crypt underneath the chapel, provide insight into the times long gone. Among other things, this archaeological site contains artifacts from the First Nations and French colonial periods, including fragments of the colony's early fortifications. Those interested in history can take a guided audio tour of the underground crypt and learn more about the early days of Montreal and the chapel site.

Emphasizing its connection with the maritime theme, the chapel is also often referred to as the Sailors' Church. In line with its nautical flair, the interior décor – simple yet elegant – is definitely worth a peek, if only to observe the gorgeous ship replicas hanging from the ceiling.

Visitors to the church can also climb the wooden stairs and explore the building's prominent spire. From up there opens a spectacular view of the harbour, the Saint Lawrence River, the Old Port, the remnants of Expo 67, and Our Lady of the Harbour statue – immortalized in the Leonard Cohen song 'Suzanne' ("And the sun pours down like honey / On our lady of the harbour"). And, of course, you can see up close the angels on the chapel roof, too.

The church also houses the Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum, dedicated to the life of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, founder of the Notre-Dame congregation. In 2005, her mortal remains were brought back to the temple and interred in the sanctuary.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Montreal. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Chapel of Our Lady of Good Help (Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours) on Map

Sight Name: Chapel of Our Lady of Good Help (Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours)
Sight Location: Montreal, Canada (See walking tours in Montreal)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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