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The Americas & Caribbean

About Montreal

The second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris, Montreal offers the finest French culture in North America. The city enjoys a picturesque setting on the St. Lawrence River, spread out on an island that, according to some resident Francophiles, is shaped like a croissant. Its other stunning natural feature is Mount Royal Park. This triple-summit mountain in the center of Montreal gave the city its name. Historic Vieux-Montréal, or Old Montreal, evokes the early days of fur trading. Hugging the southern branch of the St. Lawrence, it is rich with stone houses, inviting boutiques and restaurants and grand public buildings. The 1829 neo-Gothic Notre-Dame Basilica on the Place d’Armes, for instance, is one of the city’s most beloved structures; its colorful interior includes a deep blue ceiling sprinkled with gold stars and stained glass windows that depict not biblical scenes, but moments in Montreal’s history. The adjacent Sulpician Seminary is the city’s oldest building. In the Bonsecours Market, a classic Palladian-style, domed building, explore shops and pause at a café to watch Quebecois life unfold before you.