Mount Royal

Mount Royal is a mountain in the city of Montreal, immediately west of downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the city to which it gave its name. The mountain is part of the Monteregian Hills situated between the Laurentians and the Appalachians. It gave its Latin name, Mons Regius, to the Monteregian chain. The mountain consists of three peaks: Colline de la Croix (or Mont Royal proper) at 233 m (764 ft), Colline d’Outremont (or Mount Murray, in the borough of Outremont) at 211 m (692 ft), and Westmount at 201 m (659 ft) elevation above mean sea level. At this height, it might be otherwise considered a hill, but it has always been called a mountain, given there are no actual mountains in the Montéregie region.

The Mount Royal Cross is a monument on top of Mount Royal. It stands at the northeastern edge of the mountain, overlooking the east end of Montreal. The first Mount Royal Cross the mountain was placed there in 1643 by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, the founder of the city, in fulfillment of a vow he made to the Virgin Mary when praying to her to stop a disastrous flood. The cross is usually illuminated in white; the new LED system permits it to be changed to any colour, including the purple traditionally used between the death of the Pope and the election of the new Pope. Before the installation of the fibre-optic system, this was accomplished by changing all the light bulbs. It is now controlled by computer. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal is responsible for informing the city of the death of the Pope. On various occasions, the cross has been turned red for AIDS awareness and blue for Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day.

There is an urban legend that if you look at the Cross at the moment a daybreak, you can see the souls of all those who died overnight escape into the sky.

There are two cemeteries in the area: Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery (Catholic), Mount Royal Cemetery (non-denominational but primarily Protestant, and including several small Jewish cemeteries) — all of which are now running out of space. In 2008, the refusal of the Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery to cede land that it uses as a depot blocked a planned expansion of the park.

Mount Royal

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