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Notre-Dame de Québec

The church of Notre-Dame was built in 1633 on the site of a chapel dedicated to Notre-Dame-de-la-Recouvrance by Champlain, founder of Québec. Destroyed by a fire in 1640, this chapel was replaced in 1647 by a church, Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix.

It was officially classified as a parish church in 1664 and dedicated as Notre-Dame-de-l'Immaculée-Conception. Ten years later, when Monsignor de Laval became the first bishop of North America, it was chosen to be the cathedral church for the diocese.

Several efforts were made to render this small parish church worthy of its new official status in the heart of the Catholic Church.

Immediately after its elevation to the rank of cathedral, the diocese looked for an architect to reconstruct it. The ensuing effort to produce a prestigious building resulted in its recognition by the Church of Rome who gave it the honorary title of minor basilica in 1874 during the bicentenary of the institution of the diocese of Québec

The first church was erected in the French tradition and modestly took on those characteristics prescribed by Jesuit plan widely used in France. The principal features of this architectural type included a Latin cross design finished in a semicircular choir, two side chapels at the entrance to the choir, a bell-tower surmounting the crossing, and, a simple porch surrounding the main entrance in the façade.

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Additional Photos by Terry Sio (terrysio) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 123 W: 0 N: 94] (715)
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