Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church

Quebec City, Canada

Notre-Dame-des-Victoires is a small Roman Catholic stone church in the Lower Town of Quebec City. Built on the site of Samuel de Champlain’s 1608 Habitation, it is the first permanent French establishment in North America; a symbol of the French presence in North America. The construction was started in 1687 and completed in 1723.

The church was largely destroyed by the British bombardment that preceded the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in September 1759. A complete restoration of the church was finished in 1816. Architect François Baillairgé led the restoration work.

The church, which was listed as a historic monument in 1929, remains a popular tourist attraction within the city, as well as a place of worship. It has undergone extensive restoration in recent decades, to restore its colonial French character. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988 and plaqued in 1992.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1687-1723
Category: Religious sites in Canada

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

marcelo cipriani (49 days ago)
It's a must see religious and historical site.
Jamie Seper (2 months ago)
An amazing ancient church. Takes magnificent pictures. Sooo much history. Amazing.
lili Pashaei (3 months ago)
I was in Quebec city but I haven't had visit inside of Church because it's not open every day and you have to check from website when it will be open. But I have had a very good time there. There are lots of restaurants and Gift shops around Church You can have a rest and see beautiful colorful wall which was history of Quebec. There was a guide who was explaining motifs and characters which were painted on the wall. When you walk in front of wall you think it's real . It's fun to take a photo. Very special experience.
Scott Keele (4 months ago)
Church at the center of lower Quebec City. Wonderful charm! There was a wedding in progress while we were there, otherwise we would have seen the inside. The town square is super picturesque! Relax and enjoy this corner of the world.
Brendarenda Berry (7 months ago)
Right in the heart of old Quebec. It's very busy here, but take a minute and walk through. The unique feature is the wooden ship model suspended from the ceiling. A treasure found in the chapels cellar.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.