• Bookmark and Share

Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral



The Church


Built on the site of the first chapel constructed by Champlain in 1633, Notre-Dame de Québec Church was erected in 1647 and was called Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix.  In 1664, it became the first parish church in North America.  In 1674, the church took the title of cathedral, following the appointment of Mgr. de Laval as bishop of the new diocese of Québec.  Due to the church’s new title, certain modifications were conducted on the building and on its décor.  It was ravaged by the bombardments that occurred during the English Conquest in 1759, and was reconstructed a few years later.  On December 22, 1922, a fire once again destroyed the cathedral.  In 1923, they began the construction of the present-day church.

 The cathedral was successively raised to the rank of metropolitan church in 1844, then to the rank of minor basilica on the occasion of the bicentennial anniversary of the Québec Diocese in 1874 and finally to primatial church in 1956.  The church was declared an historical monument in 1966.

Many renowned artists and architects, including Claude Baillif, Gaspard Chaussegros de Léry, Jean, François and Thomas Baillargé and Raoul Chênevert, have worked on the reconstructions, the numerous extensions and the interior décor of the building.  Following the fire of 1922, the décor of the sanctuary was redone following the plans that François Baillairgé designed in the 17th century: the baldaquin (an original masterpiece of the artist), the Episcopal canopy and the main altar.  Among its treasures, the cathedral houses the bishop’s throne, created by an exceptional sculptor Lauréat Vallière, as well as a sanctuary lamp that was a gift from Louis XIV.  There are magnificent stained-glass windows created by the Meyer House in Munich and the Champigneulles House in Paris that represent scenes of the life of the Virgin Mary as well as numerous saints.  The cathedral also has three Casavant organs.

The Crypt

 Between 1654 and 1898, over 900 people were buried under the cathedral.  In 1923, at the time of the reconstruction of the church, a crypt was summarily built and was finally completed in 1952.  The present-day crypt was inaugurated in 1959.  Former bishops, archbishops and cardinals of the Quebec diocese and four former governors of New France (Frontenac, Vaudreuil, Callières and Jonquière) are buried in the crypt.  Many priests, who held various titles within the Notre-Dame de Québec Parish, as well as many lay people, are buried in the crypt as well.

The Funeral Chapel

 Mgr. de Laval, founder of the Canadian Church, was the first bishop of Québec.  An animation centre about his life and works is situated in the cathedral close to the funeral chapel built in dedication to him.  In May, 1993, the remains of Mgr. de Laval were moved to this funeral chapel.  François de Laval, beatified on June 22, 1980 by Pope John Paul II, is represented by a bronze recumbent statue inspired by those of the Middle Ages. 

Come Visit Us!

 Points of Interest  :
  • The gilded sanctuary of the cathedral
  • The stained-glass windows
  • The crypt
  • The tomb of Mgr. de Laval
Fees and visits :

There's no entrance fee for visitors who wants selfguided visits of the Basilica-Cathedral. It's possible to visit the crypt with guided tours for 5$.

Group reservation
Guided visits of the cathedral and the crypt last one hour and are available to groups upon reservation.  Reservations may be made with the Corporation du patrimoine et du tourisme religieux de Québec by telephone at (418) 694-0665, by fax at (418) 692-5860), or by e-mail at info@patrimoine-religieux.com.

Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral

  • 16, rue de Buade
  • Québec, Québec
  • G1R 4A1
  • Phone: (418) 692-2533
  • Fax: (418) 692-5860
  • Email:
  • Web site: http://www.nddq.org
To create your itinerary, consult the our churches section, select a church, chapel or religious institution . In the detailed file, click on the button.
PDFDetailed map of churches

Back to page « Our churches »