Saturday, 25 September 2010

Canada Trip Day 15: Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral

27 June 2010 -We actually visited the cathedral before heading to the Museum of French America but mass was still running. So, we did a more detailed tour after our visit to the museum.

What's most spectacular about the Cathedral-minor basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec (Our Lady of Quebec City) is its impressive golden baldaquin structure which hover over the altar. It is difficult to take your eyes off it because of its blazing gold colour, its size over the altar and the rich decoration of angels and stalks reaching up to join at the top where a figurine of Jesus holding his wooden cross stands. Not to mention the decoration over the bishop's throne. Like many cathedrals or basilicas around the world, the rich artistic adornments generously covered the building's interior walls.

"... resulting in the finest Neo-classic façade in Québec. Today's cathedral is richly decorated with impressive works of art: baldaquin, canopy, episcopal throne dais, stained glass windows, paintings, and chancel lamp (a gift of Louis XIV)." - Quebec Cathedral
Some of these photos are taken by Sakana.

Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral

Holy water stoup

Stained glass windows

Golden sculpture of Saint Joseph carrying Baby Jesus

Mass was still running in the church

Richly decorated pillars and walls, statues and figurines, windows and altar

Impressively decorated baldaquin that mesmerises its visitors

Close-up of the baldaquin

Decorated ceilings with paintings

Crown of the baldaquin with a Jesus figurine standing on IHS Christogram which means
Iesus Hominum Salvator ("Jesus, Savior of men" in Latin)

Golden figurines of Mother Mary with angels on her side

Church Tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist is kept

View of the baldaquin from the far end of the aisle

Symbol found in the church, perhaps signifying Bishop Francois de Montmorency-Laval and a heavily decorated crown of the bishop's throne

Ornamental roof of cathedra or bishop's throne (something like a kathisma) attached to the wall

Entrance of the church

Pipe organ

Prayer altar

Prayer altar

Candles lit along with said prayers

Tomb of François de Laval

Sculpture of Jesus

Banners of praise and worship

Right outside the church, a street performer is demonstrating some tricks at the park

Street performer

Side view of Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral

Stone carvings at the side of Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral

Canada Trip Day 15: La Chapelle du Musée & Musée de l'Amérique française

27 June 2010 - Since admission tickets to the Centre d'interprétation de Place-Royale were also available at the Musée de l'Amérique française (Museum of French America) reception, we decided to purchase both. Both museums are under the management of.Musée de la civilisation (Museum of Civilization), which we did not visit.

I was curious as to how French civilisation came about in Quebec City and was, thus, looking forward to the Museum of French America. It is a huge disappointment that picture taking is not permitted to a collection of some very interesting and exquisite exhibit items and paintings. It is the oldest museum in Canada with a history that dates back to the 1600s. There were three exhibition halls:

1) I, Augustinian: Woman of Action, Sister of Faith
 This hall exhibits the life of Augustinians, nuns who not only so devotedly carried out their religious duties and the duties of running the convent, but also helped save lives, other than spiritual ones, with their medical expertise. These are women of strength, who aside from the mentioned above roles, also helped in managing the hospitals. We also learned the different steps to take in order to complete the rites of profession as an Augustinian sister. Some of the exhibit items include day-to-day crockery items, clinical and surgical tools, ledgers and management records and pictures of these amazing women. This exhibition will run till 20 March 2011.

2) ON THE ROAD: : The Francophone Odyssey
This showed the spread of French communities by sea, road and rail and included exhibits that displayed the type of crafts or skills these early European settlers specialised in such as railway workers, farmers, fur traders and retailers. There were videos and audios display which allow a visitor to get a feel of how life was for these French immigrants.

3) Séminaire de Québec, Wisdom and Works
This hall houses a rich collection of items of the Quebec Seminary (founded by  Monseigneur François de Laval, an important historical person of Quebec City and first bishop of New France) residences owned by priests including vials in the shape of Sacred Heart like here and chalices made of precious metals.

The location of  Musée de l'Amérique française is a little funny as we have to go through La Chapelle du Musée (Museum Chapel) before taking a lift to get to a lower level. Extremely interesting finds in this chapel are relics of locks of hair, bones and ashes of departed saints. It just reminded me of the Buddha's hair relic that was kept at Botahtaung Pagoda during my Myanmar visit and a private collection of Prophet Mohammad's hair during an Islamic exhibition in Brunei many years ago. I didn't know we, Christians, keep hairs and bones on displays in churches. I only knew of incorruptibility of saints bodies but hair and bones are new to me. Anyway, the chapel has been used to hold conference, seminars and concerts as shown here.

Some of the photos are credited to Sakana.

Entrance to  Musée de l'Amérique française

Congregation hall

Altar, stained glass windows and paintings

Stained glass window of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Jean Paul II to pray at the tomb of Blessed François de Laval, 8th September 1984

Blessed François-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval's tomb entrance

Blessed François-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval's tomb (30 April 1623 – 6 May 1708)

Chapel corridor with walls lined with miniature bust statues of saints

Corridor with decorative pillars leading to Mother Mary's altar

Pipe organ at the upper floor

Sacred relics

Sacred relics of bones

It was from this guide documents, we came to learn about the relics.

Other relics placed in ornamental displays

Close-up of ornamental displays

Bust statue of saints

Elevator to get between Chapel and Museum

Man working at the lawn outside  Musée de l'Amérique française

  Musée de l'Amérique française entrance

Entering Séminaire de Québec exhibition hall.


Loss of hope for the future
Shared dreams and commitments shattered
Profound disappointment and grief
Flooded from a time so sudden and brief

Conflicting emotions that churn and drown
Nails the soul deep in the ground
Every mental faculties retarded
Crawling against waves of being mutilated

Friday, 24 September 2010

Canada Trip Day 15: Gare du Palais, Quebec City

27 June 2010 - We started our tour in Quebec City by first making a stop at Gare du Palais, the train station, to confirm that the strike by ViaRail has stopped and that we can travel on the 29th June to Montreal.

Earlier on 25th June, we received the following email with the subject titled "Potential work stoppage by VIA Rail unionized employees – Immediate action required":
"Due to a potential work stoppage by a portion of VIA Rail’s unionized employees who are members of the Canadian Auto Workers' union (CAW) as of Monday, June 28 at 00:01 a.m. (EDT), VIA Rail has implemented a contingency plan to ensure basic services on all its routes. Please note that only Economy class services will be offered on all routes...." - ViaRail Canada
Thank God, the strike was over and our train ride was not affected. It was later that day after we had already visited the train station did an email titled "VIA Rail and CAW reach tentative agreement - no work stoppage" arrived in my inbox stating the following:
"VIA Rail Canada is pleased to announce that a tentative agreement has been reached with the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) representing a portion of our unionized employees.

All services, on all trains to all destinations will continue as normal...."
Train stations buildings are sometimes a fascination to me as some cities have really beautiful historic train station buildings such as Gare Du Palais with its French châteauesque architectural style of elaborate spires, just like the famous Chateau Frontenac, and there was the Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

How to get to Gare du Palais from Auberge Internationale de Québec

View Larger Map
Walking along Rue Saint Jean before turning at Cote du Palais
3D Murals along Cote du Palais

View of rooftops and chimneys from Cote du Palais, across Hotel Dieu De Quebec, a teaching hospital.

Hotel Dieu De Quebec, a teaching hospital along Cote du Palais. Photo by Sakana

Quebec City Staircase Challenge (Défi des escaliers de Québec) on 27th June 2010. Photo by Sakana

View of Gare du Palais with fountain from Rue Saint Paul. Photo by Sakana

Gare du Palais from Rue de la Gare du Palais

A bit of the park in front of Gare du Palais

Clock on the roof

Inside of Gare du Palais with nice old tiled brick walls and pretty and old ivory-coloured balusters

Plain glass and stained glass ceiling

ViaRail counter where I was inquiring on our train ride on 29 June. Photo by Sakana

Pretty ornamental clock. Photo by Sakana

Waiting Area

Cafe Cheminot

Staircase to get to Cafe Bistro

Cafe Bistro at the upper floors with a unique European ambiance surrounded by red brick walls and gridded window panes.

Charbon Steakhouse

Dental Clinic at Gare du Palais

A whole row of cafes and eateries

Recycling bins

Waiting room just next to the platform

Fountain in front of Gare du Palais. Photo by Sakana

Cathedral-minor basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec (Our Lady of Quebec City). Photo by Sakana

Statue in a park in front of Notre-Dame de Québec. Photo by Sakana

Statue of a ship on a floral vase.

  Côte de la Fabrique

Chapelle du Musée de l'Amérique française

Université Laval. Photo by Sakana