Notre-Dame de Québec, Quebec City

Notre-Dame de Québec, Quebec City (must see)

The Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of Quebec City (Notre-Dame de Québec) is the oldest church in Canada. It sits on the site of the former chapel of Our Lady of Recovery (Notre Dame de la Recouvrance), which was built by Samuel de Champlain in 1633.

This is also the first church in Canada to be ranked as a minor basilica – by Pope Pius IX, in 1874.

Over the years, the cathedral has been destroyed twice by fires: the first time during the Siege of Quebec, in 1759; and then in 1922, gutted by arson by the members of the Canadian faction of the Ku Klux Klan.

The church was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1989. Inside, you will find a chancel lamp donated by Louis XIV and impressive adornments such as stained glass windows, paintings of the Virgin Mary dating back to the French colonial regime, the old bishop's throne, and a stunning gold-plated baldaquin canopy suspended above the altar.

From 1654 to 1898, some 900 people were buried in the church crypt; among them four governors of New France and twenty bishops of Quebec, including François de Laval, Quebec's first bishop. It is also rumored that Samuel de Champlain himself is buried somewhere nearby; archaeologists have been searching for his grave for decades.

In 2014, when the cathedral celebrated its 350th anniversary, a holy door – a special entrance portal traditionally located within the Papal major basilicas in Rome – was installed here, being the only one of its kind in North America and one of eight across the entire world.

Tip:
See the basilica during the day, but consider the laser light show in the evening. The line to get in is very long, so buy your tickets online and pick them up at the office the night of the performance. Not the cheapest 30 minutes, but well worth it if you want to see the magnificent building shine in a whole new way.
Entry is free for self-guided visits; it is also possible to visit the crypt on a guided tour, for a charge.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Quebec City. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Notre-Dame de Québec on Map

Sight Name: Notre-Dame de Québec
Sight Location: Quebec City, Canada (See walking tours in Quebec City)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Quebec City, Quebec

Create Your Own Walk in Quebec City

Create Your Own Walk in Quebec City

Creating your own self-guided walk in Quebec City is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Quebec City Introduction Walking Tour

Quebec City Introduction Walking Tour

Cresting a cliff above the St. Lawrence River, Québec City (French: Ville de Québec) is the soul of the province of Québec – a place all its own; a country within a country with its own traditions, architecture, and French-speaking population.

The Algonquian people had originally named the area Kébec, which means "where the river narrows", because the Saint Lawrence River...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Qucbec City's Historical Churches Walking Tour

Qucbec City's Historical Churches Walking Tour

The first religious buildings in Canada were established by the Récollets and Jesuits, in 1615 and 1625, respectively, when they first arrived in New France. Later on, the French colonists brought along their culture and architectural traditions, and the establishment of British and evangelical society triggered further major developments in Quebec City.

Over the course of the 17th and 18th...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Historical Houses Walking Tour

Historical Houses Walking Tour

Quebec City, particularly evocative of Europe in its atmosphere, is often referred to as the cradle of New France. The city boasts one of the richest architectural heritages in North America, though most of its buildings had to be adapted to harsh winters and the lack of specialized workers and materials in the colony. As such, the majority of local houses were designed as simple and efficient...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Old Quebec Walk

Old Quebec Walk

The historic part of Quebec City known as Old Quebec (French: Vieux-Québec), sometimes also referred to as the Latin Quarter (Quartier Latin), is the neighborhood centered around Cape Diamond (Cap Diamant), located on the eastern edge of Quebec hill promontory. The area comprises Upper Town (Haute-Ville) and Lower Town (Basse-Ville) and is currently listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles