This article was published on October 21st, 2012
Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, who lived from 1620 – 1700, was the founder of the Notre-Dame-De-Bon-Secours Chapel and the Congregation of Notre-Dame. As an educator, she founded the first school in Montreal and became the first teacher in the city.
Today, the chapel and museum allows visitors and guests to take a step back in time to discover the life and accomplishments of Saint Marguerite. Her remains are buried on the left side of the chapel.
The original chapel, funded by Saint Marguerite began construction in 1655. It was completed in 1678, and would be destroyed by fire in 1754. The stone and mason chapel and museum that stand today was build in 1771. The building features beautiful plaster work, made-made stain-glassed windows and wonderful carvings.
The tour passes through the ruins of the original 1675 chapel, the 18th-century stone crypt, and to the tower overlooking the St. Lawrence River, Old Montreal, and the city centre.
Over the years, archaeological digs have uncovered artifacts dating back over 2,000 years, when First Nations people settled the area. There are also still remains of the wood palisade that once protected Montreal.
The chapel and museum are open daily from early March through mid-January. During the Christmas season there are special events and concerts to celebrate the holidays.