A Mini Pilgrimage to the Oratoire St Joseph

This is one of the most prestigious buildings to visit in Montreal, located in the multicultural district of Côte-des Neiges. 

Saint Joseph’s Oratory welcomes nearly two million visitors each year who come to see its basilica, chapel, Stations of the Cross and copper dome. The latter is the second largest in the world, after St. Peter’s in Rome. Don’t worry, you’ll see it from afar. Free entry.

What a majestic sight the Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal is, as it towers over plush and meticulously kept gardens. The long road which leads one towards the entrance allows one ample time to reflect on the churches beauty as you make your way towards its front entrance. Before reaching the entrance however you will need to climb more than 280 steps! This can be seen as a mini pilgrimage so be sure to wear the proper shoes on your visit to the basilica if you have any intention of going inside.

The architectural style used is that of Italian renaissance complete with a dome, the ‘cupola’ as is typically seen in the basilica’s of Italy. In fact the dome is the second largest dome in the world, the first being Saint Peter’s basilica in Rome. The height of the dome is 236 meters. A variety of architects were involved in the construction and design of the church. The most notable of those were Paul Bellot, Dalbé Viau, Lucien Parent, and Alphonse Venne.

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If you would like to experience a truly Roman Catholic Church service in the largest church in Canada with the atmosphere of reverence that comes with it, then this is definitely a place to visit. If you are simply a fan of renaissance architecture, you will also want to add this to your list of places to see in Montreal.


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