|An Amerindian trail,
then a "castle"...
Archaeological digs in 1991.
In the beginning, an Amerindian trail...
A trail once passed through here, across from the present-day square, leading back into the woods. Yet traces and remains discovered where Rue Saint-Paul now runs shows that it was more than a simple stopping-off pointNatives stayed here for long periods, living from fishing and perhaps even planting crops.
The façade of the "Château'" de Vaudreuil, drawn by Gaspard Chaussegros de Léry in 1727
(after it was built).
... then the new market, and a public square
... then a "castle"
In the days of fortified Montréal, the Governor had a prestigious home erected here. Nobles and craftspeople alike frequented the hôtel de Vaudreuil, built for Philippe de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil, and modelled on the hotel particuliers of France. The "Château," as it was nicknamed, later served as a residence for French governors and, following the Conquest, as a boys' college. It was destroyed by fire in 1803.
Evidence of earlier occupationgardens, outbuildings, orchards and the main buildinglies just below the surface, in very good condition, a treasure trove for Montréal archaeologists. In the remodelled Place Jacques-Cartier, darker paving sotnes mark the footprint of the Château's walls.