On the traces of Germany in Montreal and surroundings

Did you know...

... that the first Christmas tree of North America made its appearance in the small town of Sorel near Montreal?

A Prussian officer who established himself in the small town of Sorel in Québec during the 18th century palpably missed his Christmas tree. German soldiers fought in the name of England under his command. After the British’ victory over America in 1776 some soldiers of Hessian origin came from Nova Scotia to settle in Montreal. Through marriage they would become owners of land and had families. A Holocaust memorial with museum was erected in 1979 to commemorate persecuted Jews by the Nazi regime. Beside these historical traces, others from modern times can be found: The “Boucherie Atlantique” and the studio “Tresnormale” for example. A visit to the Museum of Fine Arts reveals a special work of art by Otto Dix.


T-Shirts by Tresnormale © Goethe-Institut Montreal

T-Shirts by Tresnormale

By the time it opened its atelier and shop on Avenue Fairmont in 2014, “Tresnormale” - a small silkscreen and design label - had already been in existence for a few years.

Esso gas station by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe © Goethe-Institut Montreal

The Most Beautiful and Famous Gas Station in the World

On Nun’s Island in the Saint Lawrence River southwest of the city centre, not far from downtown Montreal, you can find a small architectural jewel from one of the most significant architects of the 20th century: the Esso gas station by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886 - 1969).

Sorel and the First Christmas Tree in the New World © Goethe-Institut Montreal

Sorel and the First Christmas Tree in the New World

Sorel is a small town on the south bank of the Saint Lawrence River just 40 km east of Montreal, and it may surprise readers to learn it was in Sorel that the Christmas tree had its first appearance on North American soil.

Holocaust Memorial and Museum © Goethe-Institut Montreal

Holocaust Memorial and Museum

Montreal’s dynamic Jewish community has been an essential element of the history of the francophone province of Quebec for over 250 years.

The Portrait of the Lawyer Hugo Simons © Goethe-Institut Montreal

The Portrait of the Lawyer Hugo Simons

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal) houses an extraordinary treasure in its collection: a portrait of the artist Otto Dix’s lawyer and friend Hugo Simons (1892-1958), which was painted in 1925 in Germany.

Atlantique Delicatessen © Goethe-Institut Montreal

Atlantique Delicatessen

Located on the western slope of Mont-Royal in the geographical centre of the city, the Austrian-German butchery “Boucherie Atlantique” is one of Montreal’s unmissable locales for all lovers of German food and products. It was acquired in 1962 by the German-Austrian couple Wolfgang and Herta Lustig.