Visitors to Quebec City this year can enter Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral, a National Historic Site, through the first Catholic Holy Door outside of Europe. Founded in 1664 and located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Quebec, Notre-Dame is considered the mother of all Roman Catholic parishes in the United States and Canada.
The Vatican-sanctioned Holy Door, opened on Dec. 8, 2013, to kick off Notre-Dame’s yearlong 350th Jubilee, is one of only seven worldwide, with four in Rome, one in France, and one in Spain. Quebec artist Jules Lasalle sculpted the heavy bronze door with images of Jesus on the exterior and Mary on the interior.
Anyone of “good will,” no matter their religious conviction, is welcome to pass through the Holy Door, located on the north side of the basilica by the Garden of the Jubilee. The door will remain open until Dec. 28. Then it will be sealed for 25 years, unless the pope orders it opened earlier. Until then, it’s expected to draw faith-based and other travelers. Visitors should allow time to view the stained-glass windows, artwork, and artifacts displayed in the cathedral’s neo-Baroque interior, and ask if a crypt tour is available.
THE HOLY DOOR Place de l’Hotel de Ville, intersection of Rue Saint-Jean and Rue de Buade, Quebec City, 418-692-6464, www.notredamedequebec.org/en. Open 8:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Mon-Fri, till 4:45 p.m. Sat-Sun. Free, but offerings for upkeep are appreciated.