The National Gallery of Art
Actually, we wanted to see the paintings of the Group of Seven in the National Gallery of Art in Ottawa. Of course we did, but we didn't expect that the architecture of the art museum would impress us any more. Moshe Safdie's architecture makes the National Gallery itself an architectural work of art that is astonishing. From the outside, with its glass structure, it is reminiscent of the buildings in the government district: the parliament or the mint. This is quite intentional, as such a connection to the National Gallery of Art was to be established.
The architecture of Moshe Safdie
Inside, however, the ramp that leads to the Great Hall under the glass structure reminds me more of a cathedral from the Gothic period with its columns that irresistibly lead the view upwards. The glass fronts of the building do the rest to give this part of the building a bright ambience. Despite modern building materials such as concrete and glass, the entrance to the Great Hall looks like a cathedral.
If you stand under the glass structure of the Great Hall, the sun sails that cover the glass panels provide shade. When the sun is shining outside, they look like a flower that opens with its leaves above the viewer. The windows look out over the Parliament Building, the Ottawa River and the Gatineau Hills. Opposite the entrance there are only steps to the Byward Market.
Packing tips for a city trip to Ottawa Ontario
- Comfortable shoes, because you will be walking a lot in Ottawa
- A City backpackin which you can arrange everything for a day tour of the city
- For fine dining in one of the city's restaurants, I always use it Pumps mit.
- rain jacket not only protects against rain, but also against wind and cool temperatures.
- Ottawa City Maps * for orientation. You can find more Ottawa tips from us in Travel Guide Canada East of Ivanovsky *, which Monika wrote as a co-author.
During our tour of the National Gallery of Art, we repeatedly come across interiors in which the visitor can find bright places to rest. He can use them to review the masterpieces of art in his mind. A pond invites you to relax in the water court. The garden court is planted with red flowers. The species of flora in this part of the museum varies with the season, as we learn. In a third room there is an art installation by an artist from British Columbia, whose sculptures are reminiscent of the fate of the Indian tribes.
The Rideau Street Chapel
The neo-Gothic architecture of the Rideau Street Chapel, which has been completely removed and rebuilt in the original in the National Gallery of Art, has a completely different effect. The ends of the pillars that adorn the ceiling of the chapel look like palm leaves. Elements of Art Nouveau architecture give this room its character.
The chancel with its decorative wall made of gold and wood is worth seeing. The Rideau Chapel was once located in the Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. This is a girls school run by nuns. The chapel is the only one known from the 19th century to have an interior with a neo-Gothic fan roof supported by iron columns. In 1972, this gem of Canadian architecture was saved from demolition and was finally reconstructed from 1984 to 1988 in the National Gallery of Art. It is one of only two architectural exhibits in all of North America.
The National Gallery of Art in Ottawa is more than an art museum
We quickly discovered that the National Gallery of Art in Ottawa is more than an art museum. The architecture of the building makes it an attraction in itself that should be a part of any visit to Ottawa. This forms a setting for the masterpieces of painters from Canada and artists from all over the world.
Hotels in Ottawa * You can book through our partner booking.com.
Do you like to travel with the motorhome? There are several campsites in Ottawa. One of these is Sleepy Cedars Family Camping, 1893 Manotick Station Rd, Greely, ON K4P 1H2, Canada. A Rent a motorhome you can here. Our packing list for campers helps that you don't forget anything.
Do you already know:
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Source: On-site research. We thank the Ottawa Tourism Board and the National Gallery of Art for inviting us.
Text: © Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline