With a history that dates back to the 1600s, Old Montreal is a history buff’s haven, with fascinating architecture and culture. Situated by the Saint Lawrence River, the area — formally enclosed by stone walls for protection from invasion — has plenty of sights to explore.If you head to the walkable, mile-long district, here are five places you must visit in Old Montreal.Within Old Montreal, Notre-Dame Basilica’s towering presence can’t be missed. Even an architecture novice can appreciate the amazing Gothic design. It features stained-glass windows that tell the story of the area’s original Ville-Marie settlement’s rich religious and social history.The church’s interior columns are adorned with multiple layers of additional smaller columns and multicolored blue and yellow-gold patterns. Flanked by sculptures, winding staircases lead to the basilica’s second level and are themselves pieces of art featuring intricate designs.