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Tour route Next section Previous section Back to Notre-Dame Est Boulevard Saint-Laurent Rue Notre-Dame West The Old Seminary and Notre-Dame Place d’Armes Rue Saint-Jacques Des Récollets Around Rue de l’Hôpital Rue Saint-Paul, near Place d’Youville Place d’Youville Western end of the Old Port Pointe-à-Callière and Place Royale Saint-Paul and de la Commune From Saint-Amable to Saint-Gabriel Place Jacques-Cartier Eastern end of the Old Bonsecours From Bonsecours to Berri Rue Notre-Dame East Champ-de-Mars
Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel

Work on the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel began in 1657 at the prompting of Marguerite Bourgeoys, Ville-Marie's first teacher and the founder of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, a religious order. The original wooden structure was rebuilt in stone and frequently altered; its present face dates from the late 19th century. The ceiling, decorated by painter Édouard Meloche between 1886 and 1891, illustrates the life of the Virgin.

Restoration of the frescoes

The Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum, connected to the Chapel, displays a number of important archaeological discoveries. The site served as an Amerindian camp some one thousand years ago; the foundations of the first chapel are here, along with evidence of the wooden palisade that surrounded the city before the stone fortifications were put in place. A lookout, accessible from inside, offers incomparable views of Old Montréal.





16th-century statuette of the Virgin A 16th-century statuette of the Virgin, brought from France by Marguerite Bourgeoys, emerged unscathed from the fire that damaged the chapel in 1754 and has been credited with miraculous powers. Ex-votos in the form of model ships hung from the ceiling have been offered by sailors in gratitude for the Virgin's protection.


, spreads her arms wide to the St. Lawrence and blesses sailors with her protection. This monumental sculpture was produced in 1893 by P. Laperle.

Now Suzanne takes your hand
and she leads you to the river
she is wearing rags and feathers
from Salvation Army counters
and the sun pours down like honey
on our lady of the harbour.

Excerpt from the song Suzanne,
by Leonard Cohen.
© 1967 Leonard Cohen Stranger Music, Inc.
Authorized use. All rights reserved

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Old Montréal

Credits. All rights reserved, 1998-2001.
Last updated: September 2001