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Notre Dame Basilica

Be inspired by the Canadian religious art and Gothic Revival architecture of one of Ottawa’s oldest and largest houses of worship.

With soaring arches, terraced galleries and stained-glass windows, the Notre Dame Basilica is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture. Built in 1885, the basilica is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Ottawa. It is one of the largest and oldest surviving churches in Ottawa and a Canadian National Historic site.

As you enter the nave, the arches frame the long chamber and propel the eye toward the altar. Slim stone columns on either side separate the aisles and form arches that support the domed ceiling overhead. Terraced galleries look out onto the nave, while stained-glass windows with Biblical depictions adorn the walls. Above the galleries the row of blind arcades creates a textural architectural image, reflecting the style of Victorian Gothic architecture. As you look up, notice how the arches and the curved lines leading up toward the domed ceiling create a sense of movement and vastness in the space.

The sanctuary around the altar is rich in Gothic adornments, original iconography and sculptures of Biblical figures inspired by medieval traditions. These images combine traditional aspects of the church with 19th-century Canadian traditions. Take a moment to look at the lateral altars at the entry to the sanctuary. These are sculpted from wood, covered with gold leaf and adorned with valuable stones. The stunning reredos, the altarpiece behind the main altars, is 50 feet (15 meters) high and depicts the Christ of Glory in the center. Notice the detail on the main altar; it is decorated with relief on a bronze tabernacle of the resurrection, the nativity and Christ’s teachings.

Notre Dame Basilica is open daily for mass and private prayer. However, sightseers are requested to time their visits between services, so check the website for times before visiting. Guided tours of between 30 and 45 minutes are available and advance booking is required. The basilica is easily accessible by public transportation, parking is available and it is a short walk to Parliament Hill and the National Gallery of Canada.


Guide to Exploring around Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica


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Lodging Near Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

See all 173 Properties near Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica
Novotel Ottawa Hotel $91
Novotel Ottawa Hotel

Novotel Ottawa Hotel

33 Nicholas St, Ottawa
     
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    3.5 out of 5.0

    Across from Rideau Canal, Rideau Shopping Center, and the Ottawa Convention Center, this hotel is 2 blocks from Byward Market with its many shops, restaurants, and nightspots, and within walking distance of museums.

    Les Suites Hotel Ottawa $128
    Les Suites Hotel Ottawa

    Les Suites Hotel Ottawa

    130 Besserer St, Ottawa
       
      4.2
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      Les Suites Hotel, Ottawa is in the city centre, just steps from the Ottawa Convention Centre, Rideau Shopping Centre, and ByWard Market, and a short distance to Parliament Hill.

      The Business Inn $78
      The Business Inn

      The Business Inn

      180 MacLaren Street, Ottawa
         
        4.4
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        2.5 out of 5.0

        Located in Centretown, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Museum of Nature and University of Ottawa. Parliament Hill and National Gallery of Canada are also within 1 mi (2 km).

        Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt $142
        Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt

        Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt

        325 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa
           
          4.7
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          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Downtown Ottawa, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Byward Market Square and National Gallery of Canada. Parliament Hill and University of Ottawa are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          Ottawa Marriott Hotel $114
          Ottawa Marriott Hotel

          Ottawa Marriott Hotel

          100 Kent St, Ottawa
             
            4.2
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            In the business district, the 29-story Ottawa Marriott Hotel overlooks Ottawa River and is only 3 blocks from stately Parliament Hill. The open stalls, shops, and cafés of ByWard Market are within a 20-minute walk, and the Convention Center and National Art Gallery are on the route too.

            Cartier Place Suite Hotel $88
            Cartier Place Suite Hotel

            Cartier Place Suite Hotel

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              4.0
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              In the nation's capital, Cartier Place Suite Hotel is 0.3 kilometer (.18 miles) from Parliament Hill and a 5-minute walk from the Ottawa Convention Center.

              Radisson Ottawa Parliament Hill $114
              Radisson Ottawa Parliament Hill

              Radisson Ottawa Parliament Hill

              402 Queen St, Ottawa
                 
                3.6
                of 5, from 1,517 reviews
                3.5 out of 5.0

                Located in Downtown Ottawa, this eco-friendly hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Library and Archives Canada, Parliament Hill, and Byward Market Square. Royal Canadian Mint and Rideau Canal are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Byward Blue Inn $68
                Byward Blue Inn

                Byward Blue Inn

                157 Clarence St., Ottawa
                   
                  4.2
                  of 5, from 1,637 reviews
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in Downtown Ottawa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Byward Market Square and National Gallery of Canada. Parliament Hill and University of Ottawa are also within 1 mi (2 km).