Church of St. Michael and St. Anthony

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Church of St. Michael and St. Anthony
45°31′29″N 73°36′02″W / 45.5246°N 73.6005°W / 45.5246; -73.6005Coordinates: 45°31′29″N 73°36′02″W / 45.5246°N 73.6005°W / 45.5246; -73.6005
Location 5580 rue St-Urbain, Montreal, Quebec
Country  CAN
Denomination Roman Catholic
History
Former name(s) Church of St. Michael
Founded 1915
Architecture
Status active
Style Byzantine Revival architecture
Administration
Parish St. Michael and St. Anthony
Diocese Archdiocese of Montreal
Division Région Nord

The Church of St. Michael and St. Anthony is a Roman Catholic church located in Mile End, Montreal. It was originally built as the Church of St. Michael and frequented by Irish Catholics. Because of the growth of the Polish community in the area, in 1964 a Polish mission was inaugurated in the church and the church's name was expanded to "St. Michael and St. Anthony".[1]

The church exemplifies cultural hybridity, being a Byzantine-styled church, built for Irish Catholics, in a multicultural neighbourhood, and being home today to mostly Poles and Italians.[2] The church has also been noted for its Byzantine Revival architecture, complete with a dome and minaret-styled tower, making it "one of the more unique examples of church architecture in Montréal."[3]

History[edit]

Construction on the Church of St. Michael the Archangel [4]began in 1914, for what would grow to become the largest anglophone parish in Montreal.[5] After a brief delay following the commencement of World War I, the church was completed in 1915 at a cost of $232,000, with a capacity of 1,400 people.[6]

Though Mile End was originally a predominately Irish neighbourhood, the Polish community grew such that the two communities "merged into one", and to reflect this change, St. Anthony was appended to the parish name, reflecting the "Conventual Franciscans’ devotion to St. Anthony of Padua."[1] Today, the church is recognised as "the focal point for the Polish Catholics of Montreal."[1]

Architecture[edit]

The Church of St. Michael and St. Anthony (left) seen from Mount Royal

The church was built in the Neo-Byzantine style of architecture, accompanied by a large turquoise dome and minaret-style tower.[7] It was designed by architect Aristide Beaugrand-Champagne (1876–1950), who was inspired by the Hagia Sophia (originally an Orthodox basilica) in Istanbul (formerly Constantinople).[5] The church also features elements of Gothic and Roman architecture, as well as lombard bands and window tracery reminiscent of Middle Ages castles.[5]

The church's dome features one of the first uses of reinforced concrete in Quebec.[5]

The interior roof of the dome features a neo-Renaissance-style fresco of St. Michael watching the fall of the angels, painted by Italian Guido Nincheri, who painted other churches in Montreal.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Fortieth Anniversary of St. Michael & St. Anthony's Parish". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal. 2004-06-12. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  2. ^ Simon 1999: 12
  3. ^ Eilís Quinn (2007). Montréal & Québec City. Lonely Planet. p. 102. ISBN 1-74104-006-X. 
  4. ^ Former parishioner)
  5. ^ a b c d Simon 1999: 13
  6. ^ a b McDonnell, Kate (2008-04-13). "An Echo of the Hagia Sophia". Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  7. ^ Simon 1999: 11

Bibliography[edit]

  • Simon, Sherry (1999). Hybriditée Culturelle. Montreal: L'Île de la tortue. ISBN 2-922369-02-1.