Fodor's Expert Review Basilique Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Québec
François de Laval, the first bishop of New France and founder of Canada's Catholic Church, once ruled a diocese that stretched to the Gulf of Mexico. Videos and pictures astutely illustrate his life throughout the visit.
Laval's original cathedral burned down and has been rebuilt several times, but the current basilica still has a chancel lamp that was a gift from Louis XIV, the Sun King. The church's interior includes a canopy dais over the Episcopal throne, a ceiling of painted clouds decorated with gold leaf, and richly colored stained-glass windows. A "holy door" was added to the church in 2014. The large crypt was Québec City's first cemetery; more than 900 bodies are interred here, including, perhaps, Samuel de Champlain; archaeologists have been searching for his tomb since 1950. Guided tours of the cathedral and crypt are available (by appointment only).