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Percé, Gaspé, Québec

Percé Rock(or Rocher Percé) is a monolith off the GASPÉ PENINSULA, 750 km east of Québec City, near its namesake, the town of PERCÉ. This limestone island-peninsula, once attached to the shoreline, is of an impressive size: 450 m long, 90 m wide and 85 m high. It can be reached at low tide. Its name derives from the fact that the sea has pierced holes in its structure to form archways. According to some, there were once 4 arches, but only one large opening, 30 m wide, exists today. It is known that one arch eroded in 1845, leaving the pillar known as L'Obelisque. Enigmatic and fascinating, immortalized by artists, poets and writers, Rocher Percé is one of the major tourist attractions of Québec, and is an important BIRD SANCTUARY. Along with ÎLE BONAVENTURE, it makes up a PROVINCIAL PARK (1985).

During the summer of 2003, a piece of rock fell and hit a tourist that was visiting the rock. As a result of the court ruling, the park shut off access to the rock. It decided tourists could approach only on paid tours with a park warden, and would be kept at least 50 feet away. The change marks the end of an era for Quebec's famed rock, a muse to poets and painters and a presence to navigators for four centuries.

The rock got its name – literally, Pierced Rock – for the natural archway “where boats can pass through at high seas,” in the words of Champlain, who christened it in 1603. The rock's bold shape has invited many comparisons: An ocean liner at anchor; an old shipwreck. To French writer André Breton, who summered in Gaspé in 1944, it was an iceberg of moonstone. Canadian author James MacPherson Le Moine wrote in 1871 that the rock was “one of the most remarkable objects that meet the eye of the mariner or traveler along the entire Canadian seaboard.”

All the photos in this gallery were taken in the early 1960's.

All photos were taken with a Leica IIIf and 50mm f2 Summitar

Percé Rock and Île Bonaventure, Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Percé Rock and Île Bonaventure, Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Nesting Ganets, Île Bonaventure, Percé, PQ
Nesting Ganets, Île Bonaventure, Percé, PQ
Nesting Ganets, Île Bonaventure, Percé, PQ
Nesting Ganets, Île Bonaventure, Percé, PQ
Percé Rock, Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Percé Rock, Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Low Tide, Percé Rock, Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Low Tide, Percé Rock, Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Église Saint-Michel de Percé‚ Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Église Saint-Michel de Percé‚ Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Église Saint-Michel de Percé‚ Percé, Gaspé, PQ - Church Interior
Église Saint-Michel de Percé‚ Percé, Gaspé, PQ - Church Interior
Percé Rock, Percé, Gaspé, PQ
Percé Rock, Percé, Gaspé, PQ