Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré: A Pilgrimage Destination in Quebec
Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is a small town located on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River, about 30 kilometers east of Quebec City. It is known for its religious heritage and attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. The town is home to the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, a major Catholic shrine, as well as other attractions that showcase the region's natural beauty and cultural richness.
Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré: This grand church is the centerpiece of the town and a major pilgrimage site for Catholics. It was first built in 1658 and has been rebuilt and expanded several times since then. The basilica is known for its stunning architecture, intricate artwork, and miraculous healings. Visitors can attend mass, light candles, and explore the museum and gift shop.
Cyclorama of Jerusalem: This unique attraction is a 360-degree panoramic painting that depicts the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was created by a team of artists in the late 19th century and has been restored and displayed in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré since 1895. Visitors can walk around the circular platform and admire the detailed scenes.
Canyon Sainte-Anne: This natural wonder is a deep gorge carved by the Sainte-Anne River. It features a suspension bridge, three waterfalls, and hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding forest. Visitors can also try ziplining, rappelling, or via ferrata, a type of climbing that uses iron rungs and cables.
Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area: This protected area is located just north of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré and is a haven for migratory birds, especially snow geese. Visitors can observe the birds from observation towers, take guided tours, or hike the trails that lead to the summit of Cap Tourmente, a 435-meter-high mountain.
Chute Montmorency: This waterfall is located about 10 kilometers west of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré and is one of the highest in Canada, with a drop of 83 meters. Visitors can admire the falls from various viewpoints, take a cable car to the top, or walk across a suspended bridge that spans the gorge.
Festivals: Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Fête de Sainte-Anne in July, which features a parade, fireworks, and religious ceremonies; the Festival de la Galette et des Saveurs in February, which celebrates the town's culinary traditions; and the Festival des Couleurs in October, which showcases the fall foliage and local artists.
Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré was founded in 1658 by a group of French settlers who named it after Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary. The town grew around the first chapel dedicated to Saint Anne, which was built on the site of a miraculous healing. The chapel became a popular destination for pilgrims seeking cures for their ailments, and the town developed into a major religious center.
In 1876, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré was officially incorporated as a municipality, with a population of about 1,000. The town continued to attract pilgrims and tourists, and the basilica was expanded several times to accommodate the growing crowds. In 1922, Pope Pius XI granted the basilica the status of a minor basilica, making it one of the most important shrines in North America.
Today, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré remains a vibrant community that welcomes visitors from around the world. Its rich history, natural beauty, and religious significance make it a unique destination that offers something for everyone.
- "Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré." Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. https://sanctuairesainteanne.org/en/basilica/
- "Canyon Sainte-Anne." Canyon Sainte-Anne. https://www.canyonsa.qc.ca/en/
- "Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area." Environment and Climate Change Canada. https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/amnc-nmca/qc/captourmente
- "Chute Montmorency." Sépaq. https://www.sepaq.com/ct/pcm/
- "Festivals and Events." Tourisme Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. https://www.tourismesainteanne.com/en/festivals-and-events/
- "History of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré." Tourisme Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. https://www.tourismesainteanne.com/en/history-of-sainte-anne-de-beaupre/