The city was founded by Samuel de Champlain more than 400 years ago, few North American cities can match Québec City’s rich history, or its charm.
Québec has made a point of restoring and celebrating many elements from its past, resulting in a modern city rich with Old World enchantment; wandering down Québec’s cobbled streets, you could be forgiven for feeling like you’ve stumbled into a charming Parisian arrondisement.
The former capital of New France, Québec’s historic district was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. And proudly displays its heritage to all.
Upper Town (Haute-Ville)
Québec is the only North American city to have preserved its walled ramparts and city gates. Within these fortified walls are the Hotel du Ville (city hall), the catholic cathedral, and a number of prominent churches, seminaries, and convents, making it not only the administrative centre of the city, but also a religious one. You will also find the Chateau Frontenac and Terrace Dufferin in the upper town.
Lower Town (Basse-Ville)
Accessible via a long winding road down a very steep hill or, via the Funicular railway, the lower town boasts Place Royale—a bustling square of historic buildings centred by a statue of the Sun-King himself, Louis XIV, and Québec’s oldest stone church, de Eglise Notre-Dame-des-Victoires (1688). Wandering around a series of cobbled street you come to the Petit Champlain with its myriad boutiques and restaurants.
Outside the City Walls
But of course, there is so much more to Québec City than what lies within the city walls, so many other wonderful historic sites to visit, including the First Nations reserve at Wandake, the celebrated Parc de la Chute-Montmorency (Montmorency Waterfall), which at 275-foot, is taller than Niagara Falls. The imposing Citadelle (fortress) home to the 22nd Regiment or, the Van Doos, who have been stationed in the city since 1920. And, since 2008, la Promenade Samuel-de Champlain, a beautiful art-filled public park running along side the mighty St. Lawrence river for 2.5 km from Cageux Wharf to the Sillery coastline. The park was a gift for Québec City’s 400th anniversary from the provincial government.