Calling this a museum is a little bit misleading. What you do is go to the convent of the Augustines and you are then taken on a tour of the oldest parts of the building. The Augustines were the nuns who ran the Hotel Dieu, the hospital. Parts of the building date back to the XVII century.
We rang the door bell and were buzzed in. We didn’t know exactly where to go but we questioned one of the Sisters. She told us to go to the large room at the end of the hall and wait for our tour guide. We waited about 10 minutes. Our guide was a young man who spoke very broken English. He also gave a lot less information in English, now for me it made no difference, I followed close behind the French speaking members of the tour and listened to what he told them, when he left things out I could fill our group in. I am not sure if he is the only guide but he was less than inspiring. In spite of him I am going to recommend visiting here because it is such a historic building.
You need to be able to climb stairs to visit here as we not only went upstairs but went down into the basement. On the first floor there are maps, paintings and cases of small items relating to these nursing sisters. There is a portrait of the founding sister and also an etching that shows the first three sisters arriving from France.
One the second floor there is a very interesting museum of medical instruments. Some of them look more like instruments of torture than instruments of comfort and help. There are also items that would have been used in a hospital. There are apothecary jars since the sisters were not only nurses but were druggists as well.
We got to stick our head into what would have been the sister’s kitchen and there is a nice collection of copper pots hung on the wall. The stairway that we went up is original and very beautiful.
The most interesting part of the tour was our trip to the basement. Here there are some very old pieces of furniture but what fascinated Brandon was the pile of canon balls. These are from the bombardment that Quebec took from the English during the war in 1759.
Our last stop was the chapel. We were the area of the chapel were the nuns would have sat to watch the Mass. It is not really in the chapel but looks into the chapel.
There is no charge to visit here but in the basement there is a box for donations. The tour ended with us being dumped into the hospital and we basically just walked out the door where visitors would enter to visit. A little strange but very much worth visiting.
75 Rue des Remparts