Archives and Original Chapel

The first monastery of the Ursulines of Quebec was completed in 1642, three years after the arrival of the nuns. The Ursulines soon understood the importance of preserving objects and documents. Mary of the Incarnation herself had saved the King's letters from the flames by throwing them from the window of her room. This was the beginning of the archives of the monastery of Quebec. Since this is the site of the first monastery, the first chapel was in this wing. It was divided in two by a grill: the public chapel and the nuns’ choir. Its size allowed for only a few dozen people. Enlarging the building was unthinkable at the time, as this would require the onerous installation of additional fireplaces.


* The video you will see is a reduced version of the 3D model. The image quality is compressed to suit most devices.

Map - First floor

The archives and the outer chapel highlighted on a floor plan map.


0:00 - 0:09
We are in the center of the Monastery. To our right is the St. Augustin staircase. We will come back.
0:09 - 0:13
We go straight ahead.
0:13 - 0:18
We take the right corridor. The first door on the right leads to the archives.
0:18 - 0:21
We enter this area with multiple vocations.
0:21 - 0:24
Take a look to the right. Let's observe the room.
0:24 - 0:35
Stop our movement in front of the fireplace. It is said that it is by the light of this fireplace that Mary of the Incarnation did all her writing.
0:35 - 0:51
We’ll now look up at the painting of the first Monastery. It has been copied many times from the original drawing made from memory by one of the nuns.
0:51 - 0:53
Continue the tour of the room by turning to the left.
0:53 - 1:00
In front of us is one of the doors of the museum and archives of 1942.
1:00 - 1:12
We continue our tour on the left. We pass a large wooden door leading to the archive research room. And we return to the exit.
1:12 - 1:20
We take the corridor to the right. Continue straight ahead.
1:20 - 1:26
To the right is the entrance to the first chapel, also called the original chapel.
1:26 - 1:41
We enter and advance towards a small commemorative altar. It is here that the Holy Canadian Martyrs celebrated Mass at the beginning of the colony.
1:41 - 1:53
We proceed slowly on our right to quickly see the portrait of Madame de la Peltrie, the benefactor of the first Ursulines.
1:53 - 2:00
We stop our movement in front of the door that once led to the private part of this chapel. This door was then an iron gate.
2:00 - 2:08
We continue, turning to the right.
2:08 - 2:24
On our left is the portrait of Mother St. Joseph. We stand facing the exit. The dates marked on the ground are commemorative.
2:24 - 2:29
We turn again to the right.
2:29 - 2:42
We observe the portrait of Mary of the Incarnation, the foundress of this monastery and of the Canadian Union.
2:42 - 2:51
We turn left, and take the corridor towards the exit.
2:51 - 3:10
We take the small staircase on the right leading to the Parlor wing. This area is not level, because it was built on Cape Diamond, a hard rock impossible to even out at the time.
3:10 - 3:17
Take few seconds to observe around us.
3:17 - 3:25
We stop at the convent door, which is normally closed. And turn right to the entrance hall of the Monastery.
3:25 - 3:48
It is through here that visitors usually enter. We say goodbye to you now. But don’t forget that you have plenty of places to visit.