The biggest church in the city, Saint-Roch Church is a landmark in its neighbourhood and is quite impressive to take in as a visitor.
Located at 160 Saint-Joseph Street East, Saint-Roch Church stands as an imposing structure. The building is 80 metres tall at its highest point with a large pair of steeples. Around 1,250 people can fit inside the church at once.
Saint-Roch took almost a decade to fully complete. Although it opened its doors in the 1920s the history of the site dates back much further. The current building is in fact the fourth church on the same site to bear the Saint-Roch name.
The original building was a much smaller one constructed in the 17th century. This first church was dedicated to Saint Roch as he was a patron saint of illnesses (among other things) and the colony of Quebec was dealing with an epidemic during this time.
The church was completely overhauled in the 1840s. However, just a few years after this it burnt to the ground. Rebuilt once again immediately after the fire, the third iteration of the church lasted for around 65 years until those in charge of the parish decided they wanted an even grander building.
The present-day church briefly lost some of its appeal when a mall was constructed in the 1970s which covered a stretch of Saint-Joseph’s Street with a roof, obscuring some of Saint-Roch. However, the mall did not last and is completely gone today.
Exploring the Church Virtually
One of the features of Saint-Roch Church is its crypt, which is one of the most prominent ones in the city. Priests and other community members are buried there and for those interested in exploring the crypt there is the option to do so virtually.
The program is run on the City of Quebec website, and requires Adobe Flash Player. There are five different places available to tour virtually with Saint-Roch Church being perhaps the most prominent.
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