In 1933, the government of the province of Québec started its first museum, comprised of the national archives, and natural science and fine arts collections. Eventually the archives and natural science collections were moved, and the museum switched its focus exclusively to art. Today's collection includes Québécois art from several time periods: pre-1900, 1900-1950, 1950-2000, and post-2000. The site itself is spectacular. Two historic buildings are joined by a contemporary structure to offer changing exhibits of more than 20,000 works of art in 12 galleries. Before you leave, enjoy lunch at the café (highlighting Québec produce) and be sure to visit the gift shop.
Explore the art of repoussé (metal embossing) at this small museum and gallery. Its founder, Albert Gilles, was a Parisian-born artist who established quite a reputation for himself as an artist of great skill and insight, supplying works to churches, businesses and even Walt Disney. Most of the pieces on display here are copper, a metal native to Quebec, along with what is generally considered his crowning work: the story of Jesus Christ told over the course of 50 exquisitely detailed silver panels. On request for a small fee, the staff will teach you the basics of repoussé and you can take your own completed work of art home. Shop and tea room on-site as well.
In 1850, Marie-Josephte Fitzbach opened a refuge for women. The goal was to help women who were without support or who were just released from prison. Fitzbach and her colleagues became known as the Soeurs du Bon Pasteur, and the group has provided a much needed service ever since. This museum details the early days, and is as much social history as religious history, but it's compelling no matter how you look at it.
Discover the history of stained glass, from the Middle Ages to the present, and learn all about the process of making stained glass at this fascinating economuseum. Visitors are welcome to watch artists in the studio as they create new works and restore old ones. The shop has a colorful array of lamps, windows, sun catchers and other decorative objects.
The Morrin Centre offers a cultural base for the English speaking people of Québec City. Operated by the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, the center hosts an abundance of English-language workshops, seminars and special events. The centre's library, a surprisingly large repository of books, historic documents and reference materials, all in English, is open to the general public, although only members have check-out privileges. It's worthwhile to stop by just to see the library, but guided tours of the historic 1712 building (which has also served as a jail and a Scottish college) are also available.
What's all the buzz? At this economuseum, it's bees! Fascinating exhibits depict how people have interacted with bees since our earliest days, and how beekeeping and honey collecting has changed over the centuries. For a bit of extra fun, join a Bee Safari, where you actually go out to the hives and witness the action up close. After taking in all the sights, you'll definitely want to spend some time in the boutique, where you can enjoy a sweet or a pastry, or sample some meade. Great souvenirs for the folks back home, too.
The history of Québec is so intertwined with that of the river that a museum outlining the naval history of the region is certainly apropos. Exhibits focus on vivid historical details (rather than somewhat dull technical aspects), so even kids will enjoy a visit. Plus, its diminutive size makes this one museum kids can get all the way through! Without whining!
Part of the sprawling complex that also includes the Musée de la civilisation, Musée de l'Amérique française and several historic homes, the Centre d'interprétation de Place-Royale features a number of interesting exhibits designed to give visitors an in-depth understanding of the importance of the Place-Royale area in Québec's sometimes stormy history. Known as the birthplace of French America, this is the site where Samuel de Champlain built the first fur trading post in 1608. Despite a few setbacks, the post grew quickly into a busy center of commerce, and by 1759 was the main port for all European imports and exports.
This museum highlights objects and works of art reflecting France's rich historic, cultural and social heritage in North America. Three buildings hold archives of historical documents, 195,000 rare books and journals, European and Canadian paintings, gold and silver, scientific instruments, furniture and stamps. Kids especially like the "Petit Séminaire de Québec," a hands-on exhibit that details the life of young Joseph, a 19th century student. This is one of the must-see museums in Canada.
Opened in 1998, this fascinating museum highlights the lifestyles and cultural uniqueness of different lands and peoples. Exhibits prompt visitors to examine their own traditions and values in tandem with those of other lands. There are approximately 50,000 objects and 20,000 documents here, including costumes, textiles, art and ethnology sections of the museum. Block off about two hours of your day to fully appreciate this interesting museum.