Beautiful villages of Quebec: Chaudière-Appalaches
- Published: 25 July 2017
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In this blog series, we look at the most Beautiful Villages in Quebec (in French only), exploring travel destinations in areas like Chaudière-Appalaches, Montérégie, Charlevoix, and the Lower St. Lawrence.
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LotbinièreLotbinière sits on a plateau overlooking the St. Lawrence River about 50 kilometres from Québec City. From here, you can watch large ocean liners quietly sailing upstream to Montréal and the Great Lakes, and in the distance, admire the gentle contours of the Laurentians on the north shore.
A seigneury granted in 1672, it contains superb old stone houses protected as a historical complex. An early 19th century church forms a magnificent ensemble with the presbytery, cemetery and convent.
Interesting sights include the Moulin du Portage (1816), now a performance hall and picnic area set in an enchanting site on Rivière du Chêne, and a few kilometres east of the village, on the St. Lawrence, the Manoir Joly-de Lotbinière (1851) with its outdoor café, concerts, exhibitions, gardens and park and a trail leading down to a beach.
Near From here, you can watch large ocean liners quietly sailing upstream to Montréal and the Great Lakes, and in the distance, admire the gentle contours of the Laurentians on the north shore.
Located 25 kilometres from Québec City, Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly has preserved its character and charm. The lower part of the village, called Les Fonds de Saint-Antoine, consists of a collection of villas and cottages along the St. Lawrence shoreline. From here, you can follow the majestic parade of ocean liners, or walk along the shore marsh in harmony with the river. The upper part of the village, first settled around 1680, presents wonderful examples of traditional homes of various styles (including three seigneurial manor houses).
At the eastern entrance to the parish, note the wayside crucifix and beautiful American-style octagonal barn, a rarity in Québec. The former Manoir de Tilly (manor house) serves fine regional cuisine and offers spa treatments. The Bergeron cheese factory gives tastings and interpretation, while surrounding orchards are heavy with apples at the beginning of autumn. The village centre removed its telephone poles and electrical wires in 2003.
Stretching along the St. Lawrence shore about 30 kilometres from Québec City, Saint-Michel seduces us with its superb view of the river estuary and its channel, ocean-going ships and Île d’Orléans against a backdrop of Laurentian Mountains.
The river is accessible from its streets, tidal flats, marina with outdoor cafe, beach and Riverside Park.
Old Saint-Michel displays a remarkable collection of white wooden houses in the various neo-classical styles of the 19th Century, with flower-patterned verandahs, handrails, entrance porches, curved roofs, dormers and variety of decorative elements.
In addition to the convent and church, the presbytery (1739) and Notre-Dame de Lourdes chapel (1879) are unique. The Benoît Lacroix library (1850), the heritage walk, artist’s workshops and the Musée le Voiturier (miniature carriage maker), farms and their old houses, golf and summer theatre make this village throb with activity.
Perched on a hillside overlooking the St. Lawrence, facing Île d’Orléans, Saint-Vallier is a charming shaded village that has preserved its tranquility and look of olden times.
Noteworthy buildings include the Manoir Lanaudière dating from 1767, the mill of the hospital nuns (Sisters of Mercy) and the classified home of Doctor Côté.
A jewel of local natural heritage, the Rivière Boyer Domain is a sanctuary where thousands of snow geese can be observed in spring and fall, taking flight in bursts of cackling.
A museum of horse-drawn vehicles takes you back to elegant old horse-and-carriage days, while the traditional wooden boat building yard at Rivière des Mères, two kilometres east of the village, will charm you with its nostalgic concern for tradition and work well done, just like the bakery (with its terrace), the cheese maker, the butcher and the horticulturist.
In 1633, the missionary Father Lejeune sailed by a rock along the St. Lawrence shore, a “tiny islet” that the Indians called Atisaouacanichetagoukhi. As one might expect, history kept only the French name.
A land of sailors, the village once had a school for mariners and is now home to the impressive Maritime Museum of Québec. L’Islet-sur-Mer presents a beautiful series of traditional houses, their back yards caressed by the tides.
The Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Secours (1770-1882) church and small Saint-Joseph-Secours-des-Marins chapel are classified as historic monuments. On the eastern side of the village, Rue du Quai leads to a small cove that shelters small craft.
The gentle estuary scenery lies before our eyes. In spring and fall, thousands of migrating snow geese provide a spectacular show along the river shores.
To learn more about our beautiful villages of Quebec visit the site: http://www.beauxvillages.qc.ca/website_english.htm