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Behind iron gates, next to the Notre-Dame-de-Québec cathedral, lies a tranquil courtyard surrounded by austere stone buildings with rising steeples, structures that have housed classrooms and student residences since 1663. François de Montmorency Laval, the first bishop of New France, founded the Québec Seminary to train priests in the new colony. In 1852 the seminary gave birth to Université Laval, the first Francophone university in North America. In the 1950s the university moved to a larger campus in suburban Ste-Foy.
Today priests still live on the premises, and Laval's architecture school occupies part of the building. The on-site Musée de l'Amérique francophone gives tours of the seminary grounds and the interior in summer. Tours start from the museum, at 2 côte de la Fabrique. The small Second Empire–style Chapelle Extérieure, at the west entrance of the seminary, was built in 1888 after fire destroyed the 1750 original. Joseph-Ferdinand Peachy designed the chapel; its interior is patterned after that of the Église de la Trinité in Paris.
1 côte de la Fabrique, Québec City, Québec, G1R 5L7, Canada