Le Chemin du Roy (The King’s Road), Berthierville Section
In 1660 the very first section of what would later become known in New France as the Chemin Du Roy (The King’s Road) was built through Québec City.
Later in 1706 the Grand Council of New France decreed the road be extended all the way to Montréal, thereby linking the population in the growing communities along the length of the northern banks of the St. Lawrence River.
Construction began in 1731 and when it was completed in 1737 the Chemin du Roy was 7.4 meters (24.6 ft) wide and 280 kilometers (174 miles) long, making it at that time the longest continuous North American road north of Mexico.
Back in the day a trip by horse and carriage between Québec City and Montréal would take between four to six days, depending on the weather. But things evolved and after the railroad had replaced the road in terms of importance, then the automobile came along.
Yes the road was paved, but cars and trucks required bigger, better roads and divided highways. Today driving the speed limit on either Highway #20 on the south shore or #40 on the north shore, will get you from one city to the other in about three hours. All of this would take even more traffic and purpose away from the old road.
Seeing that an important part of our heritage was slipping away, in 1999 the provincial government instituted a tourism initiative to invite people to rediscover the historic old road before it was lost and forgotten forever. The road was sign-posted along its entire length. Historical and tourist information markers were also added to make it easier for tourists who prefer life in the slow lane, to find the most interesting spots to visit, stay, eat, and discover.
This week I thought we’d stop in the town of Berthierville, just off the eastern tip of the island of Montréal, which is where most agree the road really starts to get interesting.
The grand old homes along this section all have spectacular views of the river and here are some of my favorites:
This one in the corner of the old town square has a wonderful copper roof.
And the fancy door is not too shabby to look at.
I took a number of shots of this one but no matter what I did I could not fit the whole structure into the frame.
Isn’t it gorgeous though?
A straight-on shot of the door.
Not so much for the door, but the elegant lines, covered wrap-around porch, and the tin roof with the little ice-breaking widgets all caught my eye on this one.
And let’s finish this one off with a typical door photographer’s selfie 😀
As always, thanks so much for visiting 🙂