Angela Allen

At Auberge Saint-Antoine in Quebec City, backlit boxes display one-time buried objects that tell the stories of this city nearing its 400th birthday.

The 700 meticulously displayed artifacts double as artwork and history at the chic boutique hotel in the Old Port area.

The hotel’s renovation shares Quebec City’s passion for history – you can’t miss it in the many museums and well-preserved buildings.

In the past 18 years, several archeological digs – the latest in 2003 – unearthed shards of china, broken goblets and pieces of handcrafted pipeheads dating back to the late 17th century.

Many of the 5,000 bits and pieces were donated to the city. The rest became stunning elements in the hotel’s decor.

Daniel Castonguay, a Quebec-based set and exhibit designer, created the museum-quality displays to bring life to mundane objects such as ancient cutlery and a chopped porcelain teacup.

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