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A total work of art: the Saint-Michel de Vaudreuil church

: Color photograph, long shot, church interior richly decorated and lit with a large vaulted ceiling, decorated with religious characters, liturgical furnishings accented with gold and walls in a semicircle shape are covered with woodwork and gold accents.

Saint-Michel Catholic church interior, Vaudreuil-Dorion, 2016

As visitors enter within the gentle shadows of the stone church, they are surprised by the rich decor. Even from the front door, the church sumptuous sanctuary catches the eye. Immediately, the visitor is transported to another time in history.

Old black and white photograph, long shot of richly decorated church interior and liturgical furnishings, statues and religious paintings.

Saint-Michel de Vaudreuil Catholic church interior in 1928, Vaudreuil

Old black and white photograph, close-up of church interior, richly decorated chapel with liturgical furnishings, statues and paintings, in the foreground, a varnished wood railing and pews.

Seigneurial chapel of the Saint-Michel Catholic church in 1928, Vaudreuil

This church, built between 1783 and 1789 according the desires of seigneur Michel-Eustache-Gaspard-Alain Chartier de Lobtinière (1748-1822), is one of the rare churches that has conserved its original aspect and decor. It showcases all the architectural features of the era of New France.

More importantly, its decoration and objects are closely knit with the seigneurial family’s history. The Vaudreuil seigneurs created an incredible museum containing treasures of artwork and religious objects. Three paintings, six pieces of liturgical furniture, nineteen altar accessories, two statues, ten pieces of goldsmith’s work and an organ were all recognized to be of national importance and classified by the Quebec government in 1965.

Color photograph, close-up of richly decorated liturgical furnishings which are sculpted and decorated with gold leaf, comprising a tomb and a table on which an upper section holds two statues and wooden gold leaf candlesticks.

High altar, Saint-Michel Catholic church, Vaudreuil-Dorion, 2016

The altar’s liturgical furniture was entrusted to Philippe Liébert in 1792 and a first interior decor was sculpted by André Achim in 1834. Unfortunately, his work will disappear in 1883 following large scale renovations by artist François-Édouard Meloche. This second decor remains and is considered one of the most beautiful to be seen. The church was classified as a heritage building in 1957.


Color photograph, long shot of church interior with decorated dome, in the background a platform and large copper pipe organ, in the foreground, rows of wood pews.

Mitchell organ, Saint-Michel Catholic church, Vaudreuil-Dorion, 2005

The Saint-Michel church is an exceptional building. It represents a moment in history that must be remembered for its beauty, the quality of its workmanship, and its everlasting ability to bear meaning for all mankind.

            Normand Bergeron, Saint-Michel parish priest (2002-2017) Documentary Le génie du lieu, 2016

This church bears witness to Quebec’s great period of sacred art. Today, it is cherished by a large community whose desire is to preserve its esthetic qualities.

Color photograph, close-up of a woman kneeling on the side of a pew. She is gloved and working with a rag to restore a wood pew in a richly decorated church.

Restauration of pews in the Saint-Michel Catholic church, Vaudreuil-Dorion, 2011