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Sainte-Anne de Beaupré, PQ     

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Sainte-Anne de Beaupré Lighthouse

Sainte-Anne de Beaupré is situated on the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River, east of Quebec City and north of the eastern end of Île de Orleans. The town is known for its impressive basilica dedicated to St. Anne, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. Sainte Anne is the patron saint of sailors, and sailors were instrumental in erecting the first church on the site.

Original Sainte-Anne de Beaupré Front Range Lighthouse
Photograph courtesy Library and Archives Canada
In 1658, Louis Guimont, who had severe scoliosis and walked with the aid of a crutch, came to help with the construction of the first chapel, and as a result was healed and able to walk freely thereafter. Subsequent visitors to the site have prayed for similar miracles and left their canes, crutches, and walking aids behind as evidence of their being healed. The present basilica was built in 1926, after the previous one was destroyed in a fire on March 29, 1922. The basilica is known for a replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta and its relics of Sainte Anne, which include pieces of her forearm that were a gift from the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.

Sainte-Anne de Beaupré is also home to the Cyclorama of Jerusalem, a building that houses a circular painting of the crucifixion of Jesus showing what Jerusalem may have looked like at the time of his death. Paul Philippoteaux, a famous Parisian panoramist, is responsible for the work along with five assistant painters.

The first light established at Sainte-Anne de Beaupré was a beacon light on the outer end of the village’s long wharf that was placed in operation on October 9, 1888. This red light was shown from a small lenticular lantern that was hoisted up a mast to an elevation of thirty-five feet above high water mark. The mast stood twenty feet above the top of the wharf, and a four-foot-square shed was situated at its base. The owners of the wharf were responsible for the operation of the light.

In 1907, the Department of Marine erected range lights at Sainte-Anne de Beaupré and published the following information on them:

Two range lighthouse towers are being erected at this place, and will be ready to be put in operation by the spring of 1908. The towers are wooden structures, square in plan, with sloping sides, surmounted by square wooden lanterns, the whole painted white. Each lighthouse is 32 feet high from its base to the top of the ventilator on the lantern. The lights are fixed white catoptric lights, visible in the line of range and in the channel. The front tower stands on a concrete foundation 9 feet high, located on the east side of the village wharf at a point 986 feet from its outer extremity. The light is elevated 33 feet above high water and visible eleven miles. The back tower stands on a hillside, north of the main road and west of the village, 4,210 feet from the front tower. The light is elevated 107 feet above high water mark, and visible sixteen miles. The work is being done by day’s work, under the supervision of the Quebec agency and has cost to date, $2,496.41.
Cezare Dufour was hired as the first keeper of the front range light, and Alphonse Poulin was employed as keeper of the rear range light.

The original wooden range towers were still standing in 1955, but by 1994, they had been replaced by red-and-white, square, skeletal towers that stood thirty feet tall. A thirty-foot-tall, skeletal tower was erected at some point between 2010 and 2012 to show a sector light, which is red between 251° 30’ and 253° 30’, alternating red and white between 253°30’and 253°50’, white between 253° 50’ and 254° 10’, alternating green between 254° 10’ and 254° 30’, and green from 254°30’ to 256° 30’.


  • Front: Cezare Dufour (1908 – 1912), Jos. Deblois (1912 – 1923), J. Dufour (at least 1923).
  • Rear: Alphonse Poulin (1908 – 1912), G. Parée (1913 – 1923), A. Poulin (at least 1923).


  1. Annual Report of the Department of Marine, various years.

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