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Visiting Saint-Joachim, Quebec: A Church Building Dating From 1779

Updated on April 30, 2020
Flag of Quebec
Flag of Quebec | Source
Rue de l'Église, Saint-Joachim, Québec
Rue de l'Église, Saint-Joachim, Québec | Source
Exterior of the church of Saint-Joachim (Capitale-Nationale, province of Quebec), completed in 1779.
Exterior of the church of Saint-Joachim (Capitale-Nationale, province of Quebec), completed in 1779. | Source

An historic building with poignant memories

[This visit occurred a number of years ago.]

With the Capitale-Nationale / National Capital region of Quebec is the village of Saint-Joachim; its church building of the same name dates from 1779 (1).

Features of the building include a typical French Canadian church spire atop a bell tower, a Neoclassical pediment at the tower and a profusion of Romanesque (or Syrian) arches. Executed in stone, the building's design was influenced by Bishop of Quebec Jean-Olivier Briand (1715-1794). The current frontage dates from 1895, and was influenced by designs of David Ouellet (1844-1915).

Given the diverse elements incorporating the design of the building, it is sometimes customary to refer to its styling as eclectic.

The building's sumptuously decorated interior was by François and Thomas Baillairgé.

By way of reprisals against a local population noted as unenthusiastic for British — as opposed to French — rule, a previous church building was burned down by British troops in the 18th century. Many villagers are recorded as having died during these events. At a site not far from the village, some of the former building came to light during excavations carried out in the 1960s. Given the historic circumstances, one can understand how at places such as Saint-Joachim the national motto of Quebec: <<Je me souviens>> — I remember — can have a certain poignancy (2).

The building is registered among the Lieux patrimoniaux du Canada / Canada's Historic Places.

My memories of this historic village are coloured by the fact that this visit occurred at a time of very cold weather.

The Église de Saint-Joachim is situated at Rue de l'Église, Saint-Joachim, Quebec.

May 1, 2020


(1) See also : ;

(2) One might add by way of observation and comment that the many attempts by Canadian politicians to find Federal-Provincial solutions of equal satisfaction to both Quebec and Anglophone provinces have arguably been less than wholly successful, not so much because of the lack of ingenuity behind such repeatedly proposed solutions, as because of the abiding memory of historical events and grievances between Canada's extremely diverse provinces.

Some sourcing: Wikipedia

Also worth seeing

Close to Saint-Joachim is Cap-Tourmente, with its Réserve nationale de faune / National Nature Reserve.

Quebec City (distance: 43.1 kilometres) has historical and architectural treasures are too numerous to mention here, but make sure you see the Château Frontenac, among Canada's most famous and picturesque buildings, and the Old City; la Chute Montmorency / Montmorency Falls; near the foot of the Falls is the bridge to Orleans Island (Ile d'Orléans), with its many picturesque villages, including Sainte-Pétronille, with its fine views of Quebec City, at the westernmost end of the island.


How to get there: Air Canada flies to Quebec City (Aéroport international Jean-Lesage de Québec ; distance from Saint-Joachim: 59.2 kilometres) from Montreal and Toronto, with wide connections. A number of car rental companies offer service at Quebec City airport. VIA Rail maintains regular services with Montreal, Toronto and Windsor. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Capitale-Nationale region, Quebec
Capitale-Nationale region, Quebec | Source

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