Over a century of solidity and learning
This striking — monumental, even — building houses a Quebec City adult educational institution (1) known as le Centre Saint-Louis (2). A wide range of courses is offered at the Centre, not a few of a vocational nature; these courses include hospitality and catering, history, financial planning for seniors, and computer technology; a more recent addition is a course in Spanish.
Situated in Loretteville (3), a suburb of Quebec City within the Haute-Saint-Charles arrondissement, the building housing the Centre Saint-Louis has been known by a number of names in its more than a century of existence.
In 1907 a religious order — the Sœurs de la Charité de Saint-Louis-de-France — purchased a plot of land in Loretteville; by 1911, the central part of the current building was completed (4). For the first decades of its existence, the building functioned as a convent; in the late 1930, which coincided with the expansion of the building, the institution broadened its educational remit.
Stylistically, the building — executed in solid stonework — evidences some Neoclassical influences in the form of a large, broken pediment at its rue Racine elevation; the 4th floor rounded windows suggest an element of Neo-Romanesque . Among other prominent features of the building are a stone entrance stairway, and a bell tower, which, together with the pediment and particularly given the upward sloping land rising from rue Racine, constitutes a conspicuous, local landmark.
A library — bibliothèque Chrystine-Brouillet — is housed in the building.
Le Centre Saint-Louis is situated at 262, rue Racine, Québec (Québec).
October 30, 2019
(1) Students are accepted from the age of 16 onwards.
(2) See also (in French) : https://centresaintlouis.com/ The institution is named for French King Louis IX, a very highly significant figure in French history for whom the founding religious order of the building was also named.
(4) Formerly an independent municipality, Loretteville is today incorporated into the City of Quebec.
(4) See also: https://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/publications/patrimoine/docs/histoire_de_raconter_vieux_wedake.pdf , p. 25.
Also worth seeing
Close to Loretteville, at Vieux-Wendake — a First Nations enclave formerly known as Village-des-Hurons — is picturesque Place de la nation huronne-wendat overlooked by a number of significant buildings, including Église Notre-Dame-de-Lorette; the nearby Chute Kabir-Kouba is a striking set of waterfalls on the Saint-Charles River.
Other outstanding historical and cultural sites worth visiting in Quebec City — too many to mention in detail here — include: the Citadelle (Citadel); the 1886 Hôtel du Parlement (Parliament Building), which houses the Assemblée National du Québec (National Assembly of Quebec); Château Frontenac sometimes known as the most photographed hotel in the world, overlooks le Vieux-Québec (Basse-Ville) (Old Quebec - Lower Town) - ; la Chute Montmorency (Montmorency Falls), a spectacular sight, on a scale which is higher than Ontario's and New York's Niagara Falls; Maison patrimoniale Louis-S.-St.-Laurent (Louis S. St.-Laurent Heritage House); and many others
How to get there: Air Canada flies to Quebec City (Aéroport international Jean-Lesage de Québec ) from Montreal and Toronto, with wide connections. VIA Rail maintains regular services with Montreal, Toronto and Windsor. A number of car rental companies offer service at Quebec City airport. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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