“You can’t miss it.”
That’s what everyone says once they’ve exhausted themselves on directions to a stranger. I’ve said it myself when I ran out of steam. I’m not even sure I meant it, but that’s what everyone says.
Direction-givers don’t understand that I could miss anything. “Didn’t you see that bear beside the road?” my daughter asks. Nope. I didn’t see the turn-off to the major highway we were looking for, either. So I was wondering if I’d have trouble finding the shrine to Ste. Anne de Beaupré, just north of Quebec City.
Even I couldn’t miss that. It looms over the tiny road into town. (Most of Beaupré is beyond the basilica.) It’s twin steeples are on such a grand scale that shops, apartment houses, and the McDonald’s are dwarfed by comparison.
I had NO trouble finding the shrine. You simply cannot miss it.
From the outside, the building is traditional and Gothic. It has the enormous interior space; the small altars in a semi-circle behind the main one. A lot of the interior art is derived from famous works, like the Pieta.
That said, the basilica is also distinctly modern and Canadian. The incredible mosaics that cover the walls and ceiling were done by Canadians and are often drawn from natural scenes you might see just outside the door. You won’t find anything experimental or edgy, but you will find themes that are uniquely Canadian. (Click on any photo and the slide show will load.)