Le Monastère des Augustines (Monastery of the Augustinian Sisters) of Quebec City
Not far from your hotel the Manoir d’Auteuil is a new museum that opened in the summer of 2015. The museum, a refurbished monastery of the Augustinian Sisters, offers you a trip that takes you back to the beginnings of the colony of the New France back in the seventeenth century. The visit will take you from the the founding of this Catholic pillar of the French colony up through the 20th century.
The first room that you will come into upon entering the museum was called at the time the screened parlor, where the nuns who were then cloistered, could receive relatives and friends when they visited.
Moving on to the cloister, the parlor of the Mother Superior, is where the candidates for the monastic life came to discuss their vows for their future religious life.
A visit to the monastery makes it possible to imagine what was the monastic life of the Augustinian sisters of Quebec had been like. The next stop is the great refectory, the room used for communal meals. Continue on to the 2nd floor of the convent and walk into the choir and chapel of the monastery as well as the vaults. And to finish the visit walk up to the third floor, where are the actual chambers where the nuns once slept are located.
Architecture and artefacts in Quebec City
The members of the Augustinian congregation were the founders of the first hospital in North America. Through their activities at L’Hôtel-Dieu in Quebec City, the monastery now hold a rich collection of 40,000 medical artefacts, of which nearly 10,000 are open for viewing during the visit. You will see ancient medical surgical instruments, furniture, works of art, antiques, religious heritage objects, as well as some antiques brought directly from France in the 17th century.
Moreover, besides the artefacts that can be seen, the architecture of the monastery dating from the 17th century makes the visit well worth the detour.
You may be lucky and have a chance to meet one of the eight sisters who reside in one of the remaining aisles of the monastery. Keep in mind that just a few decades ago, the congregation still numbered more than two hundred.