Sainte-Agnès (Secteur de La Malbaie)
Amalgamated with La Malbaie in 1999, this farming and forestry village is the gateway to the Charlevoix backcountry. Secteur Saint-Agnès’ charming rolling landscape unfurls at an average altitude of 450 metres.
In this tiny pearl of a village stands Eglise de Sainte-Agnès, the Charlevoix’s oldest church that dates back to 1844. Classified as a historical monument in 1960, the church holds three paintings by grand maître Antoine Plamondon. One of the paintings gracing the walls represents the parish’s own patron saint, Sainte Agnès.
The church’s interior also served to shoot the midnight mass scenes for the French TV series Le Temps d'une paix, produced by Société Radio Canada.
In 1980, Les Petits Frères de la Croix, a Catholic community of contemplative monks founded a monastery in Sainte-Agnès, Le Monastère de la Croix glorieuse. The religious community was inspired by the life and spirituality of Brother Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916), who dwelled in his hermitage deep in the Sahara in the early XXth century. The profound quietude of Père de Foucauld’s hermitage as he contemplated the inspiring desert landscape is surely similar to the peacefulness found at Sainte-Agnès Monastery, with its sweeping views across the Charlevoix countryside.
And because here there’s something for everyone, Sainte-Agnès is also a wonderful place to relax over drinks and local fare at La Maison du Bootlegger, a historical building that dates back to the era of Prohibition and offers a lively testimonial to those highly exciting times.