Mount Royal, A Territory to Discover

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The chapel of the Grand Séminaire de Montréal

Recognized as one of the best examples of the Beaux arts style in Montréal, the chapel of Le grand Séminaire de Montréal, in all its simplicity, leaves no one indifferent. Superb hand-carved oaken stalls line the nave.


Discover the site

  • The chapel is open to the public from June to August for guided tours
  • Attend a concert at the Grand Chapel during the October organ festival

Photo credit:

The chapel of the Grand Séminaire de Montréal
Photo Zénon Yelle, p.s. s.

 

Le Grand Séminaire de Montréal
Photographer: Zénon Yelle, p.s.s
© Univers Culturel de Saint-Sulpice

The Fort on the Mountain
Photographer : Samuel Montigné
© Les amis de la montagne Collection

The chapel's gate of the Grand Séminaire de Monréal
Photographer: M. Zenon Yelle, p.s.s
© Univers Culturel de Saint-Sulpice

The chapel of the Grand Séminaire de Montréal
Photo Zénon Yelle, p.s.s.
© Univers Culturel de Saint-Sulpice

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The Fort on the Mountain

Right in the middle of the city
Beside Sherbrooke Street,
Two stone watch towers.

They are the last vestiges of the Fort de la Montagne, the fort on the mountain, and bear witness to the first years of Ville-Marie.

The goal of the the founders of Montréal was to create a mission where French immigrants and First Nations people could live in harmony, in the Christian faith.

In 1676, the Sulpicians, who were the seigneurs, or lords, of the Island of Montréal, built a wooden fort on the southeast slope of Mount Royal as a settlement for First Nations people who had converted to Christianity.

The First Nations mission at the Fort consisted of only two hundred people, who were settled in longhouses surrounded by a wooden palisade.

In 1681, François Vachon de Belmont, a Sulpician missionary, was sent from France to take charge of this mission.Near the first wooden fort, he built a second rectangular one, with masonry walls flanked by four towers, one on each corner. In the middle of the enclosure, he built a house for the Sulpician missionaries and a chapel, which was dedicated to Notre-Dame-des-Neiges.
Vachon de Belmont taught the basic subjects to the First Nations boys at the Fort. The sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame taught the girls in one of the towers.

Today the towers of the Fort de la Montagne and the Grand Seminary form an oasis of history in the heart of the city.