The Basilica Museum is located in the Basilica Palace Library located in the Basilica Residence adjacent to the Basilica Cathedral. The Museum is home to some of the oldest books held in any private collection in the province. It also houses one of the largest collections of church art and artifacts of history and artistic significance in the country.
A recipient of the Manning Award for Excellent in the Public Presentation of Historic Places. Described as a "must-see museum" by The New York Times.
In addition, located at this site is “The Veiled Virgin,” a sculpture carved by Italian sculpture Giovanni Strazza sometime in the mid 1800’s. It was transported to Newfoundland in 1856 and installed first in the Bishop’s Palace, and later moved to The Presentation Convent when it was given to the Bishop’s sister as a gift.
In a physical description, it is a 20” bust of a female executed in Cararra marble. Visage as well as hair and clothing are visible through a continuous marble veil.
“The Veiled Virgin” is significant for a number of reasons including a historical, artistic, art history, religious and spiritual perspective. The combination of these factors combined with its in situ installation results in a moving experience for people who are in its presence.
Some pointers on a visit:
“The Veiled Virgin” is not on public display. It is housed in The Presentation Convent. The Presentation Convent adjoins the Basilica of John the Baptist on Military Road. It is the red stone building with the steep steps and white pillars.
While it is not on public display, the sisters will often take visitors who request a viewing through to the chapel. The procedure for a visit is generally to ring the bell to the right of the main door. When you are let in, speak with the sister at the desk to your left regarding viewing “The Veiled Virgin.” She will call for a sister to take you through. You will have to wait in the lobby until they find someone. You will then be taken into one of the reception rooms. Between 10am-12pm and 2-4pm usually.
Seasons Open: Jan 01 - Dec 31 (9am - 5pm)