St. Patrick's Basilica – Montreal, Québec - Atlas Obscura

St. Patrick's Basilica

Its columns were all carved from the same white oak tree. 


Set down an easily overlooked side street, just off of Montreal’s perpetually busy Rene-Levesque Boulevard, stands St. Patrick’s Basilica, Basilique Notre Dame’s English-speaking cousin. Completed in 1847, St. Patrick’s Basilica is a neo-Gothic gem, with an opulent green and gold forest-like interior, befitting its name. 

Probably the most interesting facet of this off-the-beaten-path church is the pillars that support the arches. At first glance, they look like ordinary marble columns. But in fact, they are beams from a white oak tree that were stripped of their bark, bound together, and encased in marble. 

Due to its location down a nondescript side street and its close proximity to several of Montreal’s star churches (Basilique Notre Dame and Marie-Reine-du-Monde), St. Patrick’s Basilica is often overlooked by visitors. Should you happen to be in downtown Montreal though, definitely stop by to take a look inside.  You will likely have the church to yourself, which creates a quiet respite from the crowds and noises of Montreal’s mainstream attractions.  

Know Before You Go

St. Patrick's Basilica is in the heart of downtown Montreal and is less than a 15-minute walk away from Basilique Notre Dame. It is free to visit and easily accessed by all forms of transportation. The schedule may be found on the church's website.