Place Royale

Old Montréal

This little square in the west of Old Montréal marks the spot where the first fort, Ville-Marie, was erected. Defense was a key consideration due to lengthy fighting with the Iroquois. In the 17th and 18th centuries this was a marketplace; it’s now the paved forecourt of the 1836 Old Customs House and linked to the Pointe-à-Callière Cité d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal by an underground passage.

The neoclassical building looks much the same today as when it was built, but now serves as the museum’s gift shop.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Old Montréal attractions

1. Old Customs House

0.02 MILES

The former customs house was built in 1836 and lies on a historic stretch of Old Montréal.

2. Mariners' House

0.02 MILES

Part of the Pointe-à-CallièreCité d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal, the Mariners' House hosts a simulated archaeological dig (great for kids) and…

4. Rue St-Paul Ouest

0.05 MILES

This narrow cobblestone street, the oldest in Montréal, was once a dirt road packed tight by horses laden with goods bound for the Old Port. Today it’s a…

5. Cours Le Royer

0.12 MILES

Montréal’s first hospital was founded on this narrow lane by Jeanne Mance in 1644. Later a huge commercial complex was built here, leaving several…

6. Basilique Notre-Dame

0.13 MILES

Montréal's famous landmark, Notre Dame Basilica, is a 19th-century Gothic Revival masterpiece with spectacular craftsmanship – a visually pleasing, if…

7. Vieux Séminaire de St-Sulpice

0.13 MILES

The seminary by the Basilique Notre-Dame and its grounds are closed to the public, but you can look at them through the gate. The Catholic order of…

8. Rue de l’Hôpital & Around

0.14 MILES

Named for a hospice set up by nuns in the 17th century, the Rue de l’Hôpital and adjoining streets are full of architectural quirks and highlights. On the…