Québec City: HISTORY (Part III)

This post is all about MUSEUMS! I love museums. I used to work at a museum. The Musées de la Civilisation are a group of museums that all work together to share Québec’s history and culture. I bought this super cool ticket that allowed me to go to 3 of the museums in this museum network (within 2 weeks), all for the low low price of $15.50! That is like $5 per museum.

MUSÉE DE LA CIVILISATION

This museum is your typical big-city museum – different exhibits rotating all the time, not much of a specific concentration. Here’s a list of the exhibits I explored!

  • Corps rebelles (Rebel Bodies). This exhibit was about dance and body movements! There was some hi-tech stuff going on because we were given headphone things to get more information and also to listen to the dancers’ music, and whenever we moved around the exhibit, the audio somehow knew where we were and changed as we moved! Crazy! Technology these days.
  • Image x Image. This was about film, animation, and the National Film Board. I watched “The Sweater” all the way through because it is a classic.
  • Le Temps des Québécois. I learned a lot of fun facts about Québec – immigration, the situation with First Nations people, Québecois identity and culture.
  • Cités Bidon (Shantytown Cities). This was almost like an art installation, showing the difference between rich and poor, and North and South. There was also an interactive portion; you could make little people out of plasticene to put in an empty city.
  • Égypte Magique. Lots of cool little knick-knacks and artifacts, as well as stories and explanations of what Egyptians believed in terms of mythology and customs. I also felt like I was in a dark desert because there were these long, wavy, yellow ribbon things throughout the exhibit.

MUSÉE DE L’AMÉRIQUE FRANCOPHONE

I REALLY liked this museum! Colonialism is my jam even though it was terrible and racist and mean, but I find it so interesting how superpowers tried to take over the world and how that so drastically changed the history of so many different countries. Back in the day, France was doing pretty well taking over North America, and I was surprised by some of the cities which were founded due to francophone interests. (Everyone knows about Québec and New Orleans, but did you know Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Chicago were all French?!?!) I also learned about the movement of Francophones throughout North America – lots of people from Québec moved south for work or whatever other reason, which is why there’s quite a sizable French-Canadian population in New England. There was also an exhibit which showed off all the cool artifacts that had been dug up at a nearby archaeological site, Cartier-Roberval.

MUSÉE DE LA PLACE ROYALE

This museum is right by Samuel de Champlain’s second habitation, so even the location is historically significant! This museum mostly focussed on settlers in New France and their way of life, as well as a nice timeline of how the area of Place Royale developed and evolved, from busy riverside markets to easily flammable buildings (I read so many stories about fires!) to current residents’ thoughts on Place Royale (a guy in a video said he’s cool with living in a place that is constantly packed with tourists).

The best part of the museum was definitely the interactive, hands-on section. We entered a “house” that belonged to a fictional Québécois family that lived in Place Royale, and we did what they would do. You can learn how to make barrels (I was too lazy for that), play games in the bedroom (I did a lot of that), explore the kitchen and the foods, and the most exciting and fun part – DRESS UP! Boy, girl, rich, poor – you could do it all!

P.S. Québec City HISTORY: Part I, Part II.

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