After my tour of Québec City was over, I wasn’t finished for the day. I took a short 20 minute drive north to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, an important Catholic sanctuary dedicated to St. Anne, the patron saint of Québec, where healing miracles are said to be performed. The first shrine was built there in 1658, and as more pilgrims came, a basilica was built in 1876. A devastating fire claimed the first basilica in 1922 and the current gigantic basilica was completed in 1946. Parking and admission was CAD$2 per person as of August 2013. The basilica is open from 8am to 5pm (9pm in the summer).
The interior of the basilica is beautifully decorated with Stations of the Cross, sculptures, and other items typical of a Catholic church. The elaborate ceiling was my favorite feature, along with the stunning capitals by sculptor Joseph-Émile Brunet. He also created the fountain and several sculptures and reliefs. There are also sections where the faithful have left crutches, canes, and other health aids after being healed.
On the lower level are two chapels, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and the Immaculate Conception Chapel.
On the grounds is a museum, a Memorial Chapel, and a replica of La Scala Santa. The museum, which I didn’t visit, is open from May to October from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Memorial Chapel. The Memorial Chapel and La Scala Santa are open from 8am to 6pm from mid-May to mid-October.
The Memorial Chapel was built in 1878 and is a replica of an older structure that lasted from 1676 to 1876.
The Scala Santa was built in 1891 and is the first of its kind in the Americas. It features scenes from the Holy Land.
The drive back towards Québec City took me past the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, a breathtaking waterfall. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to stop.