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Spiritual Journey through Québec
Distance: 325 km (201 mi.). Plan a 2- to 3-day trip.
Regions: Québec, Mauricie, Lanaudière, Montréal.
Quebec’s imposing churches and places of worship are among some of our greatest heritage treasures! Unlike many churches found on other continents, time hasn’t taken a heavy toll on these buildings or their interior beauty. Brilliant masterpieces, these special sites are powerful symbols for both Quebecers and a large number of visitors from all around the world. While some may gaze in wonder before the beauty of the sites and works of art found there within, others will find a place to spend some moments in silence and appreciate the present.
1. Your pilgrimage will begin at the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine in the Québec region. Nearly a million visitors come annually to admire this Neo-Romanesque style church. Its vault is completely covered with mosaics dedicated to Saint Anne and you can admire over 240 stained glass windows. To learn more about the history of this great church, Saint Anne and worldwide devotion to her, you can also visit the Saint Anne Museum.
2. From this great shrine, you will make your way to a small church! Hop on Route 138 to Québec City and follow the signs to Place Royale in Old Québec. Here, you will find the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church, one of the oldest in North America. It was built on the very remains of Champlain’s L’Abitation, the site where Québec City was founded. Suffering damages during attacks in 1759, during the French and Indian War, the church was rebuilt in 1763. Inside its walls, the interior decoration clearly illustrates the strong faith of local people. Interesting fact: the church served as a filming location for Steven Spielberg’s movie Catch Me If You Can, starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hanks.
3. From Québec City, you can go east on Route 138, following the King’s Road circuit along which you can discover charming village churches, or take Autoroute 40 east, which will lead you directly to your next stop in Trois-Rivières, at Our Lady of the Cape Shrine. Founded in 1888, this is Canada’s largest Marian shrine. Located alongside the mighty St. Lawrence River, this shrine also has vast gardens and a historic chapel dating back to 1714.
4. After your stop in Trois-Rivières, it’s time to head to Montréal to visit Saint-Joseph’s Oratory. You can get back on the panoramic King’s Road via Route 138 or opt for the faster track by taking Autoroute 40. Once in Montréal, you will discover Saint-Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, the world’s largest shrine dedicated to Saint Joseph. Founded by Saint Brother André in 1904, it is visited annually by two million pilgrims and visitors.
5. To finish your tour of Québec’s most handsome religious site in style, we recommend a tour of the Notre-Dame Basilica, located in Old Montréal. The basilica is considered to be the oldest Neo-Gothic style building in the country. Guided tours are offered so you can discover it, learning more about its history, majestic interiors and Casavant organ. Or you can enjoy the light and sound show “And Then There Was Light.” This special presentation makes use of ultramodern multimedia techniques to highlight the basilica’s heritage.