Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons

Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons

Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons
4.5
Historic SitesHistory Museums
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is a fascinating living history attraction and a National Historic Site. Travel back in time and experience life in the 1640s at Ontario's first European settlement. Explore dozens of historical buildings and learn about early cultural contact between French missionaries and people of the Huron-Wendat Nation. Find out why the Jesuits were forced to abandon and burn their home of ten years. • Watch a fascinating introductory video • Use an informative map to explore the fully reconstructed mission community including cookhouse, stables, blacksmith, hospital, longhouses and more • Connect with knowledgeable costumed historical interpreters • View some of North America’s oldest masonry • Visit the Church of Saint-Joseph, where graves two Canadian Martyrs are located • Access a free audio tour through the Huronia Historical Parks app • Meet friendly heritage breed farm animals • Discover our indoor museum • Shop for souvenirs in our gift shop
Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles595 reviews
Excellent
399
Very good
166
Average
22
Poor
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4

W Taylor
Burlington, Canada5 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
This is an amazing place to learn the histroy of Sainte-Marie amonth the Hurons. So much has been done to recreate the time period and records of early settlers. Facinating walk through of times gone by.
Written September 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

243Furby
Oakville, Canada312 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
The village is quite large and very authentic. Staff is quite helpful and knowledgeable. If you visit all the exhibits and hear presentations it takes about 1 hour
Written September 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MarmiteNZ
Greater Melbourne, Australia81 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Friends
We bought tickets to see this village and the shrine which is across the road.

The village was burnt to the ground but it's a lovingly restored artist impression of what it used to be like.

We went on a hot day so kudos to the staff wearing heaving traditional costumes and patiently explained different parts of the village. Several indoor fires did make it a smokier and warmer experience- added to ambience.
Written May 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mauro V
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
This place is a real jewel. Nice experience, exploring the life of the Jesuit settlement in the 17th century. The staff was helpful and knowledgeable. Our guide Paige was exceptional. She explained all clearly and provided us with lots of information. She made our visit fun and educational.
Written May 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Canadian_Guy1000
Mississauga, Canada3,357 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
I have to say that I am a little embarrassed that having lived in Ontario for 39 years, it was the first time I visited this place!

A brief history:

The French Jesuits began construction of a community in 1639 which included barracks, a church, workshops, residences and a sheltered area for Indigenous visitors. The village existed from 1639 to 1649 and it was the first European settlement in the current province of Ontario. Between 1642 and 1649, eight of the missionaries were martyred in the Huron-Iroquois war. The bodies of St. Jean de Brébeuf and St. Gabriel Lalemant are buried at the mission.
In 1649, the missionaries decided to burn the mission, as they feared it would be conquered and desecrated by Iroquois.
Sainte-Marie was reconstructed as a historical site and a living museum in 1964.

The Martyrs' Shrine is located just across the road. The shrine houses the bones of St. Jean de Brébeuf, St. Gabriel Lalemant, and St. Charles Garnier. Because of COVID-19, it was closed to the public in 2020 and 2021, although it was still possible to arrange a private/group/family tour.

Probably because of COVID-19, there were not too many visitors and thus I was able to leisurely explore all the buildings and talk to the friendly & knowledgeable museum employees, who were wearing period clothing and were engaged in some of the activities the original inhabitants of the village had performed some 360 years ago. There was a Native lady in the St. Joseph’s Church who told us a lot of interesting facts about history and her own life. The graves of St. Jean de Brébeuf and St. Gabriel Lalemant were located in this church. The Jesuits sometimes celebrate mass in that church.

This is an excellent place not only to learn about history, but experience it firsthand. The museum has plenty of interesting exhibits and artifacts.

There is also a small souvenir shop, but I was quite disappointed at the poor selection and exorbitant prices: a simple postcard cost $4.99!

Overall, this is an amazing museum and I am looking forward to visiting it again next year!

Canadian poet E. J. Pratt (1882-1964) in 1940 wrote “Brébeuf and his Brethren”, an epic on the mission of Jean de Brébeuf and his seven fellow Jesuits to the Hurons, their founding of Sainte-Marie-Among-the-Hurons, and their eventual martyrdom by the Iroquois. He was awarded one of his three Governor General’s Award for Poetry the same year. This is how Pratt’s poem describes the foundation of the Sainte-Marie mission:

"The migrant habits of the Indians
With their desertion of the villages
Through pressure of attack or want of food
Called for a central site where undisturbed
The priests with their attendants might pursue
Their culture, gather strength from their devotions,
Map out the territory, plot the routes,
Collate their weekly notes and write their letters.
The roll was growing -- priests and colonists,
Lay brothers offering services for life.
For on the ground or on their way to place
Themselves at the command of Lalemant,
Superior, were (…). And so to house
Them all the Residence -- Fort Sainte Marie!
Strategic as a base for trade or war
The site received the approval of Quebec,
Was ratified by Richelieu who saw
Commerce and exploration pushing west,
Fulfilling the long vision of Champlain --
'Greater New France beyond those inland seas.'
The fort was built, two hundred feet by ninety,
Upon the right bank of the River Wye:
Its north and eastern sides of masonry,
Its south and west of double palisades,
And skirted by a moat, ran parallel
To stream and lake. Square bastions at the corners,
Watch-towers with magazines and sleeping posts,
Commanded forest edges and canoes
That furtively came up the Matchedash,
And on each bastion was placed a cross.
Inside, the Fathers built their dwelling house,
No longer the bark cabin with the smoke
Ill-trained to work its exit through the roof,
But plank and timber -- at each end a chimney
Of lime and granite field-stone. Rude it was
But clean, capacious, full of twilight calm.
Across the south canal fed by the river,
Ringed by another palisade were buildings
Offering retreat to Indian fugitives
Whenever war and famine scourged the land."

For those who are REALLY into history, there are two additional places connected to the Sainte-Marie:

From Sainte-Marie among the Hurons I drove to the national historic site of Canada, SAINT-LOUIS MISSION. The missionaries Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalement were captured there when the village was attacked by the Iroquois on March 16, 1649. There is a cairn with a historical plaque and an interpretive sign.

Then I drove to the nearby MISSION OF ST. IGNACE II National Historic Site. Following the capture of the missionaries Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant at Saint-Louis mission, they were brought back to Saint Ignace II and killed here. Unfortunately, the gate was closed and I was unable to visit the actual site. I understand that there is just a farmland and an interpretive sign.
Written October 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul S
Hamilton, ON7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021
We had a unforgettable visit of this unique historical site. The site is beautiful and built exactly where the old Sainte-Marie mission was located. Based on the foundations, all buildings have been restored. When destroyed in 1649, this was the second largest town in Canada.

The staff present was most knowledgeable, pleasant, and helpful. Despite we know quite well canadian history, we learned a lot. We learned much on fathers Brebeuf and Lallemand, on agriculture during Huron time, how to make a real birch bark canoe, manufacturing methods of the time, etc. Overall, it may very well be the best visit we ever had of a museum.

We send our best wishes to the staff that made our visit most memorable.
Written September 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bridget M
22 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020 • Couples
Good piece of history. Didn't know about the Wendats. Self guided so very quiet to look around. Some things were closed because of Covid
Written September 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

b0b55russell
Orillia, Canada1,183 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
This historic location offers free admission if you are a First Responder. They just took my word as I could have shown proof of this. Self guided tour and your own leisurely pace. It has been a number of years since I have been here but I was here in the 1980's with good church friends of mine. Not much has changed but gives one a good idea of hoe the French Faith People and First Nations People lived together in the area. FYI I even gave people from China a history lesson regarding this place in which they thanked me. Lot s of parents with their kids giving them a lesson in early Canadian history. Good to see as this is the real deal compared to reading it in a history book!
Written August 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

traveler27Ontario
Midland, Canada31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
Great place to learn about the rich history of the area. See how they lived in the early years of the area. Learn about their culture, foods, etc. Keep track of the special events throughout the year, eg maple surup festival," First light in Dec". Worth attending.
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carrie C
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
First there was only one sign to explain that you had to take shuttle from Walmart and the OPP refused to interact with drivers other than to wave them past. Only when you turned around and came back towards Midland did you see the one sign that had been placed.
Second they have replaced one of the interactions with a candy shop right in the historical park! And closed some of the more interesting buildings. Didn't really understand why they had miniature ponies in the barn instead of a sample of the animals that would have been there like in past years.
Third we went again this year because the children remembered it being magical with free hot chocolate and a tiny lavender cookie in previous years. This time they were charging $1 for the cocoa (in spite of the hefty $40 admission for a family of four) and had apparently run out of cookies. I really did not like the fact that the hot chocolate came with plastic lids. And the girl at the cabin, where the cookies had been, accused the children of coming back for seconds of the cookies because how else could they have known they had had them available earlier? Kids were heartbroken and have decided that they don't need to ever go again.
I'm not sure how serious any of these complaints sound :) but combined with the larger number of people and the jostling in line for the shuttles to and from the parking it really was very disappointing this year.
Written December 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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