The NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
This is the building where the Québec legislature, the National Assembly, also known as l’Assemblée Nationale, meets. The site is once a cricket field for troops from the Citadelle in the early 1800’s.
The National Assembly was constructed in 1876. Architect was Eugène Taché, creates the provincial motto: je me souviens (I remember). You see it prominently displayed on the license plates.
Construction accounts are kept down to the last penny. The building cost $1,669,249.16
The tower and exterior walls are made of stone from the same quarry as the Citadelle. At the roofline, on either side of the tower, are statues of four allegorical figures. Poetry & History on the left; Religion & La Patrie on the right. These figures represent by allegory the values which are supposed to be most honoured in Québec.
On the facade are statues of heroes of historical significance to Quebec.
- Frontenac stands proudly as he did the day he refused to surrender the city to the British Admiral Phipps. James Wolfe gazes over the walls of the town he won but never entered alive.
- Montcalm holds the hilt of his sword in his left hand.
- Jean Talon the great Intendant, looks out over the thriving town he developed.
When Taché designs the building, he sought some means of commemorating the Indians, the first inhabitants of Québec. It was decided to incorporate this theme into the fountain in front of the building. – The Indian statues are the work of the Québec sculptor Louis Hébert. One group of four figures, entitled La Halte dans la forêt (the stop in the forest) shows a young hunter fitting an arrow to his bow under the watchful eye of his family. A solitary figure, known as Le Pecheur a la nigogue (the fisherman with the spear), is shown poised with a lance, ready to spear a fish. These statues were put into place in the 1890’s.
Make sure to make this part of your visit of Quebec City.