This Beautiful Library Has a Dungeon

Morrin Centre/Wikimedia Commons

This is the latest for our series The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries.

I won’t bury the lede: Quebec City’s Morrin Centre might be the only library you’ll ever visit that also has a dungeon. Okay, technically it’s a cell—a vestige of a time back in the early 1800s when the building served as the first municipal jail in the city. But its barred windows, iron floor rings, and graffiti from former inmates give the dark room a decidedly medieval vibe, one that makes most visitors extremely uncomfortable. Upstairs, books line the dark-wood walls, make it an aesthetically obvious pick for The Daily Beast. But down here, the building’s former life is on full display.

Located in Old Quebec, Morrin Centre sits adjacent to the city’s ramparts. The now ornamental walls were built in the 1690s, during the endless battles for the city between the French and British. (Spoiler alert: the French won.) The location was intentional, as before the Centre’s modern-day iteration, the site housed the Royal Redoubt, or military barracks. As the city was further colonized, it also served as the city’s main prison until 1787, when the original building was finally demolished.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Source: The Daily Beast

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