The Basilica-Cathedral’s side lofts, unused since the 1970s, were restored by the Notre-Dame de Québec parish in partnership with the City of Québec for conversion for museum purposes. Notre-Dame de Québec Museum will therefore have two (2) exhibition spaces: the North and South Galleries located in the Basilica-Cathedral.
The treasures of Notre-Dame: four centuries of faith and memory
The new exhibit will be principally made up of pieces from Notre-Dame de Québec’s heritage collection, never before on public display. Paintings, sculptures, paraments (vestments, mitres, liturgical decorations, ornaments, gold- and silverware, etc.), historical documents, and old maps constitute a panorama encompassing 350 years of history and culture.
The collection also includes goldsmithery from the French Regime, including the celebrated chalice of François Laval given to him by Louis XIV. The oldest parish register in North America is featured prominently beside historic maps of New France and surrounded by historical documents: a letter by Frontenac together with documents from popes, kings, and Bishop Laval.
All these artifacts bear witness to Notre-Dame de Québec’s history. They include pieces that were rescued from fire or kept safe during the Conquest, lavish donations and illustrious gifts, objects born of local skills and talent.
The objects on display also shed light on Notre-Dame de Québec’s important role in our society’s cultural development. Through every chapter of history, the Basilica-Cathedral and its community purchased whatever they needed for their collective existence, attesting to the social life of their times. Sacred gold and silver works attest to the skill of Ranvoyzé, Amiot, and Zimmerman.
The exhibition Le Trésor de Notre-Dame will be available only in the 2019 summer. The museum is closed until then.