Built in 1687, in the historic Lower Town of Quebec City, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires is one of the oldest churches in North America. Lying atop the ruins of the city’s first outpost, which was built by the Father of New France, Samuel de Champlain, in 1608, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires dominates Place Royale square. Over the centuries, this Roman Catholic church has seen its fair share of battles between the French and British. And after the Battle of Quebec in 1690, the church was given its Notre Dame moniker in recognition of the Virgin Mary protecting the city from danger. However, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church was almost completely destroyed by a later British bombardment during the 1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham.
Restored in 1816, the church was named a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988 because of its beauty and history. A working church with regular Sunday services, a particularly special time to visit is on January 3. On this feast day of patron St. Genevieve, who is said to protect against famine, the church hands out little buns as blessings.
In Place Royale in Quebec City’s Lower Town, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church is open daily to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.