Sunday, October 14, 2018

Parliament Hill and Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica - Ottawa

I fell in love with Ottawa, the seat of the national government in Canada. Two very distinctive sites which we enjoyed were Parliament Hill and Notre Dame, which is near Parliament Hill. 

Parliament Hill is where the national government is housed. The Center Block, the most distinctive of the buildings, is a long, thin building with a large Peace Tower in the center of it. It houses the House of Commons, whose members are Members of Parliament, and the Senate. We walked along the boulevard first, then took a tour of the Center Block and saw the House of Commons, the Senate and the library, then took a boat cruise on the Ottawa River which gave us a back-side view of Parliament Hill. 
The Center Block of Parliament.
The House of Commons
Beautiful stained glass in the House of Commons.
The Senate
The Senate ceiling.
The Parliament library.

Dome in the library.
The Ottawa River from the grounds of the Center Block. 
Parliament Hill from a boat underneath a bridge.
Parliament Hill.
Parliament Hill.
The West Block is another one of the three buildings on Parliament Hill. It contains offices for Parliamentarians. 
The West Block
The West Block from even further west, looking east.

The East Block is the other of the three buildings. It also contains offices for Parliamentarians. 
The East Block.
We saw the daily changing of the guard with the military in full dress, which included scarlet tunics and bearskin hats. 
The changing of the guard with the West Block in the background. 
Closer view of the uniforms. 
Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica is located northeast of Parliament Hill and is the oldest and largest church in Ottawa. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic archbishop. The steeples are covered with tin, typical for French-Canadian churches, which gives it a very distinctive look. It was designated a minor basilica in 1879. 
The view of Notre Dame from Parliament Hill.

From near the entrance, looking toward the altar.
The blue ceiling.

Across the street is the National Gallery of Canada with a huge spider sculpture by Louise Bourgeois outside of it. The sculpture is over 30 feet high and 33 feet wide and is made of stainless steel, with an abdomen and thorax of ribbed bronze and a sac containing 32 marble eggs. It is called "Maman," the French word for mother (or mommy). This is the Canadian version of Godzilla and the Empire State Building: Is Maman going to climb the steeples? 
Maman, with Canadian flags and Notre Dame. 

1 comment:

  1. I loved Ottawa. I made me realize how much I have always underestimated the Canadian culture and definitely made me want to spend more time in Canada in general. Such a rich history! I love your comparison of the Bourgeois spider and the Notre Dame Cathedral to Godzilla and the Empire State Building. Perfect.