Three historic churches in Haute-Ville (Upper Town) of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Québec caught my eye during my visit. They are the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Couvent Ursulines, and Notre-Dame de Québec.
Along Rue Sainte-Anne was the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. Built in 1804, it was the first Anglican cathedral constructed outside of the British Isles. I stopped in for a few minutes to take a look.
I then continued on to the Couvent Ursulines (Ursuline Convent). It was founded in 1639 by Mother Marie de l’Incarnation (1599-1672), who is also entombed in a room next to the chapel. The convent is the oldest institution of learning for women in North America. The chapel was originally built in 1723 and replaced in 1902. There’s a museum, but I decided to forego that and only visit the chapel.
The third and most impressive of the churches I visited is Notre-Dame de Québec, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Québec. It’s located on Place Hôtel de Ville and is the parish church of the oldest parish in North America north of Mexico.
The original church was built in 1647 but was twice destroyed by fire. The current church was completed in 1843 and contains the tomb of François de Laval (1623-1708), the first Bishop of New France, who was canonized as a saint in the Catholic Church on April 3, 2014.
Next to the church is the Petit Séminaire, a seminary founded in 1668 by François de Laval. Once educating clergy to prepare them for ministry in parishes as far away as Louisiana, it now functions as a Roman Catholic secondary school. The huge complex is also the location of the Archbishop’s Palace, built in 1847.