Tucked away along the quaint streets of francophone Quebec City is a historic cathedral that was the first Anglican cathedral outside the British Isles.
The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity today has a rather small congregation with separate English and French services every Sunday, but the seat of the Anglican lord bishop of Quebec has a rich history dating to about 45 years after the British forces of Gen. James Wolfe defeated the French under the Marquis de Montcalm during the largely forgotten French and Indian War.
Architecturally, Holy Trinity looks more like an average parish church. It’s also unique in that its construction between 1800 and 1804 predated the Gothic Revival style that dominated 19th century church architecture.
The exterior, a Georgian-era expression of Palladianism, is simple but elegant. The interior, however, is more ornate and easily could double as a London church from the 18th century.
The cathedral is particularly impressive when you consider its architect, Sir William Robe, wasn’t an architect but instead a career Royal Artillery officer in the British Army. After leaving Quebec City in 1806, he gained fame — and his knighthood — for his service in the Napoleonic Wars.
Reports from the time of Holy Trinity’s construction indicate Robe was inspired by the work of…
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