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PAPINEAU MEMORIAL CHAPEL, MONTEBELLO

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Author: 
Matthew Farfan

Papineau Memorial Chapel. (Photo - Société historique Louis-Joseph Papineau) Accessible from the tourist bureau (the former train station) on Route 148 in Montebello, the Papineau Memorial Chapel (516Notre-Dame Street) is a modest stone building in a wooded area not far from the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site of Canada. Built by Lower Canada leader Louis-Joseph Papineau following the death of his son Gustave in 1851, and consecrated by the Catholic Bishop of Bytown in 1855, the chapel and the adjoining cemetery contain the remains of the Papineau and six generations of his family. Built in a style known as “country Gothic,” the chapel features heavy buttresses on each side of the façade, a simple bell tower, a single arched doorway, and an oculus over the entry.

On the interior, the walls are of plaster. Measuring a mere seven by ten metres (and ten metres high), the chapel is of modest size. Most of the furnishings are original, including a Gothic Revival altar, statuary (including a funerary bust of Papineau by artist Napoléon Bourassa), and various family memorials. When their seigneurial lands were sold by the Papineaus in 1929, the chapel was retained by the family. In 1974, it was entrusted to the Heritage Canada Foundation. It is now managed on a daily basis by the Société historique Louis-Joseph Papineau, and is open to the public daily from June to August, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (reservations are required at other times).

For more information, call (819) 423-6996.