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Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church

The Church

 Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church, a small church erected in 1688 by Mgr. François de Laval on the site of Champlain’s “l’Abitation” and of the King’s “Vieux Magasin”, received its finishing touches in 1723.  It was constructed as part of the Notre-Dame-de-Québec Church of the Upper Town, and dominated Place Royale.  This place of worship was named Notre-Dame-des-Victoires in recognition of how the Virgin Mary, on two separate occasions, protected Québec City from danger.  The first time was in 1690 when Admiral Phipps was put to flight by Governor Frontenac just before reaching the city, and the second time was in 1711 when the fleet of Admiral Walker, on its way to attack Québec City, was shipwrecked in the St. Lawrence River. 

Destroyed by fire during the British Conquest, this church has gone through many restorations over the centuries and was declared an historical monument in 1929.

Many famous architects and artists, at one time or another, have worked on this church: Jean Baillargé, François Baillargé, Joseph-Ferdinand Peachy, David Ouellet and Louis Jobin.  The present-day interior décor, which was designed by students of Thomas Baillargé, was constructed between 1854 and 1857.  The retable, the main altar, several beautiful paintings of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries (two of which come from the Desjardins collection), and the tabernacle (originally found in the Sainte-Geneviève Chapel (1724-1730)) are among the most interesting pieces of the church. 

In 1888, Jean-M. Tardivel, a Québec painter and decorator, painted a set of frescos that retrace the history of the church as well as that of the city.  The frescos are painted on either side of the main altar, which itself was created in 1878 by David Ouellet.  The altar is in the shape of a fortified castle and is a symbol of the two victories that are related to the name of the church.  Two statues by Louis Jobin, one of the Sacred Heart and the other of St. Joseph, also adorn the church.

Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church also houses a remarkable ex-voto : the Brézé, a vessel that arrived in Québec City in 1664 transporting the Carignan Regiment and the Marquis de Tracy. Upon his arrival, the Marquis suspended this miniature replica of the Brézé in the vault of the Notre-Dame-de-Québec Basilica Catherdral. It has been hung in the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church since 1955. 

The Feast Day of Saint Genevieve is celebrated at Notre-Dame-des-Victoires on January 3. Saint Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris and is often invoked for protection against famine. The blessing of the “little breads” of Saint Genevieve is also carried out during this celebration.

Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church

  • 32, rue Sous-le-Fort
  • Québec, Québec
  • G1K 4G7
  • Phone: (418) 692-2533
  • Fax: (418) 692-5860
  • Email:
  • Web site: http://notredamedequebec.org/
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