Notre-Dame-De-Quebec Basilica-Cathedral

Quebec ( Quebec )

The Cathedral-minor basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec, located at 20, rue de Buade, Quebec City, Quebec, is the primate church of Canada and seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec, the oldest see in the New World north of Mexico. It is also the parish church of the oldest parish in North America, and the first church in North America to be elevated to the rank of minor basilica by Pope Pius IX in 1874. It is a National Historic Site of Canada, and located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Historic District of Old Québec.

It was in the 19th century that the building assumed its present appearance. Work on the interior decoration started in 1786 under the direction of Jean Baillairgé and his son François; it continued until 1822. Their legacy to later generations included a retable, bishop’s throne and high altar. In 1843 François’ son Thomas proposed a new facade in a sophisticated neoclassical style. However, because the foundations were not strong enough, the spire could not be completed. A fire gutted the structure in 1922; it was rebuilt in its original form between 1923 and 1925.

Over 900 people were buried under Notre-Dame Basilica between 1654 and 1898. The crypt was constructed during the 1923 restoration and serves as the final resting place for most of Quebec’s bishops, archbishops and cardinals as well as many priests and lay people. Four former governors of New France are also buried in the crypt, including the legendary Louis de Buade de Frontenac after which another Quebec City landmark, the Chateau Frontenac, is named. Monsignor François de Laval, the first bishop of Quebec, is also entombed within the Basilica in a funeral chapel consecrated to him.

The ornate, neo-baroque interior of the Basilica is decorated with incredible works of art as well as many treasured artifacts. Many of the paintings adorning the church date back to the time of the French regime. Among many of the religious treasures, visitors will find a sanctuary lamp gifted by Louis XIV, as well as the bishop’s throne sculpted by master craftsman Lauréat Vallière. The stunning stained-glass windows depict scenes of the lives of various saints and the Virgin Mary. The gold-plated main altar, baldaquin, and episcopal canopy are magnificent sights to behold. Notre-Dame Basilica also houses three Casavant organs, and on the first Sunday of every month presents an organ concert.


How to get there: Google Maps

Categories: Attractions, Religious buildings and sites

Card created: 06/2012 (last modified: 08/2015)


GPS coordinates: 46°48'49.62"N, 71°12'24.52"W

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(last modified: 08/2015)