Some Historic Churches of Québec

We spend a great deal of time here on LAJ focusing on the old churches of Europe so today I thought I would turn our readers' attention to some of the older churches of the New World -- specifically some of those found in the province of Québec in Canada. Québec is home to the oldest episcopal see in North America (Mexico excluded), the Archdiocese of Québec, which was founded in 1658.  Of course the Catholic presence in what was then known as New France predates the archdiocese with the first missionary priests accompanying the explorer Jacques Cartier in 1534; under Pope Alexander VII an Apostolic Vicariate was established in 1658.

While the history of this Archdiocese -- which at one time geographically included all of what now constitutes Canada and the continental United States (Florida excluded) -- is of interest in its own right, our focus today is on some of the colonial French church architecture of the province of Québec.

The first church I'd like to draw your attention to is that of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires in Place Royal, Québec City, built from 1687 to 1723. It was significantly damaged during the British bombardment of the city in 1759 and restored thereafter. 

Église Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Exterior.

Église Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Interior

Next I'd turn your attention to the chapel of the Convent of the Soeurs Grises de la Charité located n Montréal and built between 1869-90.

Next we have the church of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours situated in old Montréal. dating to the 1771 and built atop the ruins of an earlier church.

Regrettably since these images were taken in 1880, alterations have been done to both the interior and exterior of the church -- which are regrettable mainly for the reason that it obscures the historic colonial character of the original architecture.  Here is how the church looks today:

Next we turn to Notre Dame du Cap in Trois-Rivieres, Québec. The church was built between 1717-1720 and is considered the second most important Marian shrine in North America after that of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. 

Finally I'd turn your attention to St. Georges de Beauce, in the town of St-Georges. This particular structure is relatively modern, being built between 1900-1902, but it still retains a French colonial character in many regards.

For those interested in a more thorough treatment of this subject, I'd certainly recommend The Old Churches of the Province of Québec: 1647-1800 (the French version of which may be found online). 

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