Montreal is steeped like a teabag in history and culture. Take this, for instance. It's mere steps away from where I live, in the heart of the city:
|Bastion # 1|
|Interior, seen through the little red door|
|Collège de Montréal, right behind it, founded in 1767|
|View down Fort Street, taken from the footprint of the original fort, looking down toward the St. Lawrence River|
These are the two remaining bastions of Fort de la Montagne, also known as Fort des Messieurs de Saint Sulpice or Fort Belmont.
These towers, each 43 feet tall, were part of that mission, built under the direction of, and personally funded by, one François Vachon de Belmont, a wealthy Burgundian and Sulpician i.e., a member of the Society of St. Sulpice in France.
Sulpicians attest they were mostly concerned with the academic and spiritual formation of priests. They also played a major role in the formation of Montreal and bought huge tracts of land. They (and the government) out and out deceived the Mohawks and took their prime hunting land on the St. Lawrence River. The Mohawks had been established there since the 16th century, and other tribes can be traced back to over 1,000 years, so to have been conned out of it is something that rankles to this day.
(Kanehsatake remains a Mohawk settlement, one of the Seven Nations of Canada, and self-governed by the Mohawks. They continue to fight to maintain their rights to their land. The Oka Crisis is the most recent example of this ongoing battle. This was a 78 day stand-off brought triggered by the neighbouring town of Oka attempting to extend a private golf course not only over an old pine grove, but also a sacred burial ground. Not cool.)
Anyway, this explains the need for the bastions so the priests could have a little hide-out when things got heated.
My goal is to get inside one of them. And the chapel in behind. Not sure if that's allowed, but you know what they say - where's there's a Pam, there's a way.
I haven't even shown you the old section of Montreal yet. So much to see and do here in La Belle Province!