St. Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

St. Joseph’s Oratory is the largest church in Canada, located on the northwest flank of Mount Royal in Montreal. The secondary element of the site is the Catholic basilica whose dimensions, its cross and the dome (60 m high and 39 m in diameter) are remarkable. The place has gardens where you can take a holy path with several sculptures that represent the Passion of Christ. Brother André took the initiative for its construction which started through donations and in 1904 a small modest chapel dedicated to St. Joseph, was inaugurated but it could not contain all the faithful while its doors were open and the faithful were praying outside so they decided to expand the place and the same was extended twice for the present appearance that can accommodate 1,000 people. The walls are covered with silver granite and the dome is covered with copper. There are several sculptures, paintings, stained glass windows, a chime and a large important organ. There are 283 steps to climb to the oratory and nearly a hundred are in wood for pilgrims who want to get it on his knees. Outside the church there is the Chapel of Brother André that is also his grave. He was beatified in 1982 by Pope John Paul II. Father André was known to receive sick people and heal them through his prayers to St. Joseph so there is a chapel where you’ll see the canes, prostheses, corsets, etc., which left the sick who felt healed.

Tips

At Christmas time, you can visit a part of a collection of more than 900 nativity scenes in the Oratory Museum.
The heart of Brother André is exposed behind a wrought iron gate in the exhibit room dedicated to his life and his work.

Frida Kahlo Museum, Coyoacan, Mexico City, Mexico

The Frida Kahlo Museum or the Blue House, located at 247 London street in the center of Coyoacan; one of the oldest neighborhoods in Mexico City. The house belonged to the Kahlo family since 1904 and four years after the painter’s death in 1958, was converted into a museum. The rooms show the work of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, as well as the environment in which they lived. Due to a serious accident Frida was immobilized in the column, but that does not stop her to continue painting and you can see the bed day and night bed she used. You can also see her studio, the library, the stove based on wood, their belongings and of course her works. Frida suffered since childhood (polio), the serious accident that left her prostrate, not being able to have children and her husband’s infidelity, moments that marked the pain reflected in her works. Diego Rivera asked Dolores Olmedo at his death and the death of Frida, the house was to be opened as a museum to the public except for a bathroom, which could only be opened fifteen years later. It was opened fifty years later, and they found a lot of pictures, clothes, books, toys and documents so they had to take the neighboring property to introduce these new elements.

Tips

The museum is closed on Mondays. Tickets can be purchased online.
If you want a guided tour you must book in advance. It is in Spanish, but it is possible to ask it in English if the group is 20 people or more.
There is another dramatized visit, made by an actress playing the role of Frida. It generally takes place twice a month.

Mural Festival, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Mural Festival is an event that takes place in Montreal in June since 2013. It is an art expression that met American artists who make urban art. This expands on the Boulevard St- Laurent ( street that separates the city of Montreal in two (east-west) between Sherbrooke Street and St. Joseph Boulevard. You can meet real-time artists and watch how they perform their art at the same time there are music shows, conferences, gourmet places with different terraces to eat in the area and even other activities that change day by day. There are both day and night activities.

Tips

To better enjoy this event, visit their website for a schedule. There are some activities or shows you must pay like guided tours, concerts, etc, but to walk in the street and see the creations, there is no ticket to buy.