Today, June 24, is La Fête nationale du Québec . This is for a place and culture I love very much:
Old Montréal is a glorious architectural melange. Ruins of the 17th century Ville-Marie colony mingle with the stone walls, baroque churches and houses of the 18th century mingle with the warehouses and pantheonic bankhouses of the early industrial era. Punctuated throughout, especially further from the river, are the Art Deco office blocks and modernist towers of the 20th century.
Much like in Lower Manhattan, Old San Juan, Boston, New Orleans, and other colonial centers, the streets here still adhere to their original narrow, meandering, and twisted natures.
Every colony of the new world was unique- isolated outposts on the fringes of the European world- each adapting in their own ways to these alien lands. Today, they remain unique.
If Boston and Baltimore are red brick and New Orleans and San Juan are bright pastel color, Montreal is grey stone. And if New England and Philadelphia could be said on basic levels to have been founded on Puritanism and its relatives, and New York and New Orleans on commerce and trade, Montreal might be said to have, at its very basic roots, a mixture of Catholicism and business.
Like any other city, it grew up and took on many different shades and forms in its course, while always feeling the echos of its origins.
History in Montréal is felt strongly and with pride – and I always love that in a place.
Posted on June 24, 2011, in Québec, travel, Uncategorized and tagged architecture, canada, colonial, history, montreal, north america, old montreal, quebec, vieux-montreal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.