Quebec City Travel Guide

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Old Quebec view from Cruise Ship

Old Quebec view from Cruise Ship

Raymond Longaray

Quebec city is the oldest fortified city in North America. It has a population of 705 898 (2003). Its most famous landmark is the Chateau Frontenac a beautiful, romantic castle-like hotel overlooking the river and the historic Plains of Abraham.

The best way to see the old city within the fortifications, is to take a walking tour. The streets are narrow and the buildings, which are a mixture of religious, military and residential date from as early as the 17th century. Outside the walls visit the Citadel, the largest fortification in North America garrisoned by regular troops. Nearby is Dufferin Terrace which commands a spectacular view of the St Lawrence and the old lower town.  It is also worth going to Place Royale, birthplace of Québec City.  Be sure to stop into the church Notre-Dame-des Victoires.  It was at this church that Louis Joliet began his voyage to the west, which led him into the Mississippi River and down as far as southern Illinois. For a good background on Québec's history, it is worth stopping into the Musée de la Civilisation to see the exhibit Nous sommes les Québécois.  Also be sure to visit the Musée France-Amérique.  

The National Battlefields Park encompasses the Plains of Abraham, site of the famous battle when Quebec fell to the British. This park has an excellent interpretive centre and various horticultral displays. It is the venue of a number of open air concerts. The cuisine in Quebec City is world famous and is a unique mixture of old and new world French cooking.

Don't forget to visit other parts of Québec City either.  Walk west down Rue St-Jean into the Quartier St-Jean-Baptiste, which is a very interesting neighborhood.   It has a life to itself.  Visit the church St-Jean-Baptiste as well.  It is very beautiful inside, and much care was put into its construction as a sanctuary and tribute to the patron saint of Québec.  (St. John the Baptist or St-Jean-Baptiste.  Feast day is June 24, which is the Fête Nationale du Québec).   Many remnants of Québec's past can also be found along here, including houses with the slope at the end of the roof which help with the accumulation of snow removal from the top of it.   This neighborhood also features some great restaurants.

The St. Roch neighborhood in the lower part located along Blvd. Charest is very interesting too. It has a great combination of old and new architecture that blends very nicely.  The Cathedral St-Roch is worth stopping into.


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