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.