Saturday, July 29, 2017

kumo and a cathedral

This is the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica in Ottawa.
It was built in 1846 with the two gothic spires added in 1866. 

They are covered in tin, which is a common feature for French Canadian churches.

In between the spires is a gilded Madonna.

and, for a special Canada 150 event, by special permission of the Archbishop,
a giant spider will spend the night atop the Cathedral
Yeah, Ottawa already has a giant spider, living right across the road at the National Gallery, a sculpture by Louise Bourgeois
but this is a giant mechanical spider. named KUMO.

slept on top of Notre Dame and was awakened on Thursday evening. On Friday morning a giant fire breathing dragon was woken up amid a weekend of traffic snarls around this urban roaming theatre.  You can see a three part video of the awakening (complete with an orchestra suspended in cages and puppeteers rappelling down ropes onto their positions on the spider to make her move. it's a long video, but fast forward and you'll see it's pretty cool!)
All we got in Toronto was a giant duck... and me, an affirmed arachnophobe, I wish I could have been in Ottawa for this.
You can read all about La Machine and the exciting weekend here. But if you want to see this street theatre you need to be in Ottawa from July 27-30th.  The basilica, however will always be there for you to see. On Sussex Drive.

fast forward to around the 9 minute mark

photos of kumo credit ottawa citizen and radio-canada

for InSPIREd Sunday


  1. Oh, my, this is wonderful! I always wonder about the actual building of places like long did it take, and just how did they accomplish it!

    1. Some things seem to have been built rather quickly, especially considering the era.

  2. Love the church but don't get putting the spider there. Hate the things anyway!

    1. the spider was probably put there so that it could come down on a 'web', as they do. the dragon was at city hall, then they walked to the National Gallery and Byward Market. today they wander to the Supreme Court and eventually to the War Museum.

  3. Another great post showing us life in Canada. But I would have thought a giant beaver or a blackfly would have been more Canadian! :)

    1. don't be wading in more giant beaver talk!! a beaver would never climb a tin clad church spire ;)

  4. Replies
    1. by all accounts this event was a HUGE success.
      and no church spires were damaged in the landing of the spider :)

  5. Love that cathedral, it's very impressive. The spiders are a hoot to see. Glad they're only mechanical and not real. :)


Glad you stopped by. For anyone who stumbled here, don't be shy to say 'hi' and let me know you've visited!