The Maison Alphonse-Desjardins is one of the most interesting museums in the Quebec City area, and it's free! The house itself is quite interesting - built between 1882 and 1884, it is a fine example of Neo-Gothic architecture and "petit bourgeois" Victorian homes. It has been completely restored to give visitors an idea of what life was like in 1906, with many interesting details such as a black cross of temperance and one of the first "washing machines". The Desjardins family lived in the house for more than 50 years and operated the first "Caisse populaire" (the first savings and credit cooperative in North America) in one of the house's rooms. Your tour guide will tell you all about the social, cultural and economic contexts that prevailed in Quebec at the end of the 19th century and that prompted Alphonse Desjardins to set up the concept of Caisses populaires. We had a great visit and an excellent tour guide who helped us learn a lot about this important part of our history!
The Parish of Levis was founded in 1850 and the same year the Notre-Dame-de-Levis Church was built following the plans of renowned architect Thomas Baillarge, who also designed the Quebec Basilica and about 100 other churches in the province of Quebec. This beautiful Neo-Classical style church was extended in 1854, and at that time it became the second largest church in America. Although its exterior is nice but austere, you'll be surprised to see how light and ornate the interior of the church is. Among its many treasures are 17 stained-glass windows by Vincenzo Poggi and two Mitchell organs (built in 1869). Guided tours of the church are offered during the summer season, and it is usually open on weekends. A truly beautiful piece of religious architecture!
The Maison Alphonse-Desjardins is the house of the foundator of the Caisse Desjardins, the biggest bank in Quebec province. Very nice to visit.