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“Always Worth a Visit for its Special Exhibits”

Pointe-a-Calliere Museum
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Montreal Attraction Pass
Ranked #12 of 419 things to do in Montreal
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Pointe-a-Calliere, the birthplace of Montreal and a National Historic Site, offers visitors the opportunity to explore history through an original underground circuit leading through archaeological excavations. At the start of their visit, an immersive multimedia show presents a high-speed view of the city's history, the remains come to life and the count down begins! The museum also offers year-round temporary local and international exhibitions. For Montreal's 375th anniversary in May 2017, Pointe-a-Calliere inaugurated a new pavilion highlighting Fort Ville-Marie.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 12 August 2013

For the summer of 2013, special exhibits on the history of tea and on the Beatles' one and only visit to Montreal made a return visit to the museum very worthwhile. Visited again and spent more time in the below ground archeological dig on this visit. What cannot be solved (unless the building is demolished) is its confusing and maze-like organization - a modernist nightmare worthy of Paris!. Also found on this visit a scaled down gift shop which was highly disappointing.

Thank ciscokid23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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839 - 843 of 1,420 reviews

Reviewed 12 August 2013

The archaeology tour of Montreal was interesting and a unique way to learn about the city's founding. The Beatles exhibit was very cool! If you're a Beatles fan, I highly recommend it.

Thank erinobene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2013

I am fascinated by archeology and had high hopes for Pointe-a-Calliere. However, Pointe-a-Calliere was a disappointment. The underground crypts are poorly explained, and after careful reading of the explanations I was usually not sure where I was in relation to the old city, and what I was looking at. This is despite being surrounded by interactive/touch screen displays, cases with findings, and dioramas. I would have benefited enormously from the presence of a docent whom I could have spoken with. However, they had only one English language tour that Friday, and that was later in the afternoon. Likewise, I would have gladly paid for an audio guide or a guidebook, but they simply have none. The exhibit starts off with an 18 minute multimedia event which gives an overview of the history of Montreal. Not bad in and of itself, but it would have helped to give an overview of the archeological finds.

It is not clear that the excavations themselves were that interesting anyway. Most interesting were part of a 17th century graveyard that is excavated, and a sewer built in 1837 which allowed for the paving over of a creek to create Place D'Youville. A good part of the excavations were for an 1870 insurance building, and some other mid-19 century buildings (it was hard to discern what was what). There was an Iroquois hearth next to a model of the Iroquois town Hochelaga, which gives the impression that this was the original site of Hochelaga, though in fact it is well known that that site is a few miles away.

The interactive screens allowed you to see how a canoe was dugout, to talk to several residents of the time, and others things that kids would enjoy, without clarifying the sites. At the museum were also special exhibits on a visit of the Beatles to Montreal in 1964 and on the history of tea, both of which I skipped. Perhaps I should have looked at them, maybe they would have made the $20 entrance fee worthwhile.

1  Thank Michael_B_from_DC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2013

The tea exhibit was lovely. It was interesting to learn a bit more about the history of montreal. There was a video at the beginning that we viewed, skip it if you want, it was not good!

Thank Sue M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

A great mix of history right on the site of the founding of Montreal, and always good temporary exhibitions (The Beatles at the moment of writing)
Don't miss it !

Thank Christophe P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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