Hôtel de Ville - Hôtel de Ville information and pictures
City Hall (Hôtel de Ville)
is one of Montreal’s most impressive buildings. Montreal City Hall is an architectural monument and administrative center located in the historic district of Montreal
. Construction of this building commenced in 1872. It underwent restoration in 1922 and 1932. The City Hall was designed by the architects Alexander Cowper Hutchison and Henri-Maurice Perrault and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1984.
This building is five storeys high. It was completed in 1878 and features what is known as the Second Empire style of architecture. It nestles between Champ de Mars and the Place Jacques-Cartier, and is within easy reach of the Champ-de-Mars subway station, which is the closest metro station. Note that in summer, Champ de Mars, which is named after a French explorer, is a car-free zone. A popular garden restaurant here is Jardin Nelson, especially during the high season. Parisian terrace dining is offered by other restaurants around.
According to experts, Montreal City Hall is among the hallmark examples of the Second Empire style in Canada. It is also the first city hall to have been built only for municipal administration in the whole of Canada.
The exterior of the building is decorated with mansard roofs, grand turrets, and well as ornate balconies. It is a beautiful sight at night when hundred of bulbs light the City Hall. Inside the hall itself, visitors enjoy an abundance of bronze and marble. The Hall of Honour features the portraits of all mayors who held this office in the city. The hall is decorated with art deco lamps, marble from Campagna, and a massive glass and bronze chandelier.
Because the hall functions as Montreal’s administrative quarters, even today, mayors have their office here. Many areas of the City Hall are off-limits to visitors, but you can sign up for a 15-minutes tour, which is offered from May to October, several times on weekdays. Visitors who join the tour will enjoy the view from the terrace, overlooking downtown. Those who do not take this tour may stop at the beautiful council chambers.
In 1922 the building burned down. Only the outer wall was left, and many of the city's historic records were lost to time. The renovation of the building was delegated to the architect Louis Parant, who made the decision to create a completely new building. He got inspiration from the city hall of the French city of Tours. The new city hall of Montreal featured a self-supporting steel structure erected beneath the ruins. Instead of sticking to the original roof, which was made of slate tiles, Parant made one of copper, modeled after the Beaux-Arts trend in architecture.
Montreal City Hall has also been home to many interesting historic events. Then-president of France Charles de Gaulle gave a speech in honor of the freedom of Quebec from the balcony of this building in 1967.
As you see, Montréal City Hall could be a great starting point of a historic tour. The city celebrated its 350th anniversary in 1992. Few people know that it started out as a tiny colony with less than fifty members. Today its population numbers three million. The city has French roots but also features British influences, and these two aspects of culture form a unique blend, culminating in the atmosphere one can sense in the city hall.
City Hall is facing Place Jacques-Cartie
(Jacques-Cartie square). It runs from Hôtel de Ville and rue Notre-Dame to the waterfront. The Place Jacques-Cartie is always bustling with people and attracts tourists as well as craftsman, artists and street vendors.
Where is Hôtel de Ville: 275 rue Notre-Dame Est
How to get to Hôtel de Ville: Subway Orange line to Champ-de-Mars
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