Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), by using the blue link-up button below.
The Root Cellars of Rural Québec – Avenue Royale
There’s an historic 57 km (35 mi) stretch of road that runs parallel to the St-Lawrence river through the rural Québec countryside east of Québec City. Known simply as La Route de la Nouvelle-France, along with the Chemin du Roy, it makes up one of the oldest continuously used roadways in North America.
This scenic road connecting Old Québec City and the smaller villages and farmland to the east follows today’s route #360 – also called Avenue Royale, it was mapped out and built in the middle of the 17th century to allow the farmers of the Côte-de-Beaupré region to transport their goods by horse and cart to markets in Québec City, which by then was already becoming a popular commercial trading center.
Today this scenic route is very popular with bicycle tourists and is actually a part of our famous cross-country mixed-use coast-to-coast-to-coast Trans-Canada Trail.
The road takes travelers through a number of lovely little small towns and villages, and some of the most scenic farmland in the province; at times offering spectacular views of the river and the distant hills of the Charlevoix region.
I recently took a drive along this stretch of road to explore and capture some of the historic sites from over four centuries of European settlement.
From heritage houses dating back to the 1650’s, old barns, and roadside travelers’ chapels,
the Route de la Nouvelle-France has much to offer the curious visitor.
One of my favourite discoveries on this day were these odd-looking stone-walled entrances cut into the sides of the hill along the road.
Positioned on the north side of the slope directly across the road from either an old farmhouse or a barn, I quickly developed an idea of what these things might be.
At one point I just had to pull over and get a closer look to confirm it for myself.
Caveau à légumes = Root Cellar.
Yes the settlers of the area learned over the years that the best way to preserve their fruits and vegetables through the winter months was in naturally insulated root cellars carved into the hills across the road from their farms.
As you follow the Route de la Nouvelle-France from Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré to Old Québec you’ll see several dozen of these root cellars that have been preserved and/or restored thanks to a local heritage society initiative.
Some are obviously in much better shape than others
and many of them are still in use today.
But each one is quite unique…
and offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of rural Québec farmers over the past few hundred years.
As always, thanks so much for dropping by 🙂
Want to join in on the fun and share your own Thursday Doors post with other door lovers? Click on the blue button below to add the link to your Thursday Doors post to our link-up list.
Don’t forget that if you share your blog posts on Twitter and Instagram, use the #ThursdayDoors hashtag to help others find you, and please do take a few minutes to visit some of the Thursday Door posts shared by others.