If you’re driving through Route 1 in the Clare region in Church Point/Pointe-de-l’Église you’ll surely not drive by Église Sainte-Marie Church. It’s impossible to miss standing some 185 feet high.
Known as the largest wooden church in North America the church has long been a landmark along Clare’s Acadian Shore and is a must see as you visit our area. Guided tours are available.
So renowned is the church that on Feb. 3, 1969 it was featured in the popular Ripley’s Believe It or Not column.
The church is 190 feet long, 135 feet wide at its widest point and is built in the shape of a cross. The main section is 85 feet wide and it’s 65 feet from floor to ceiling.
Three huge bells in the belfry were made in Arras, France The largest one sounds the tone “fa”, the middle sized one “so” and the smallest one “la.”
The combined weight of the three bells is 3,740 pounds and the belfry is anchored with 40 tons of rock.
The famous church’s architect was Reynault of Rennes, France.
Since the year 2000, the church has been a registered museum with static and interactive displays located throughout and two exhibit rooms displaying religious artifacts and relics. There is also a gift shop on site where you can buy souvenirs and religious articles. Visit their website for more information at www.baiesaintemarie.com/ste-marie/