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Quebec City – The Fortified Heritage of Canada

Updated on February 10, 2014

Introduction to Quebec City

The capital of the Canadian province of Quebec is the beautiful Quebec City which is the second most populous city next to Montreal. Its headland, Cap-Diamant (Cape Diamond) faces the narrow St. Lawrence River meeting the Rivière Saint-Charles that gives its name, Quebec, which can be derived from the Algonquian word as “where the river narrows”. It was used as a fortification of Quebec City to earn its reputation as the “Gibraltar of North America”. The 1 kilometer width of the river can be crossed to the opposite bank, Lévis, by navigating through the group of islands present. ÎLE D'ORLÉANS is the largest island that can be found in the St. Lawrence River.

The Citadel

The Citadel is a star-shaped fortress that signifies as a relic of the British occupation from the year 1820. Today, it serves as the official residence of the Royal Regiment and the Governor General of Canada. It is also a Museum that attracts tourists from all over the world. The Museum also offers the once in a year experience during summer of British military traditions such as the changing of Royal Guards.

National Battlefields Park / Plains of Abraham

The National Battlefields Park is the site where the pivotal 1759 battle of Quebec and other French-British battles has been renovated and beautified to become a historic site where family and friends can learn and enjoy. This can be found at the edge of the St. Lawrence River covered in vibrant green grass. There are educational tours that are held within its grounds that will let you know more about its significance to the history of Quebec.

Quebec National Museum of Fine Arts (Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec)

On the southwest end of the Plains of Abraham is the Quebec National Museum that houses exquisite paintings and sculptures by the local Québécois artists. The museum is divided into three general parts namely the early religious era, European-influenced modernist and the figurative and abstract art from the mid-20th century onward. For those who appreciate different arts can really indulge themselves in the museum and learn more about their favorite featured paintings and sculptures.

Museum of Civilisation (Musée de la Civilisation)

In the heart of the lower city of Quebec City lies the Museum of Civilization (Musée de la Civilisation) that focuses on showcasing the life of the locals in the province of Quebec in the century of its European habitation and give tribute to the First Nations People. It thoroughly explores the Qeubecois' relationship. The National Film Board of Canada production gives way to such opportunities to the local and foreign visitors.


The wonderful plaza is the known as the birthplace of French America. Amerindians are proven to have travelled to this place where they would trade their bountiful products like fur copper and eel years before the Europeans dock on the shore of Canada. It became a place of the main activities in the 1800s. The restoration of this beautiful site helped the tourism and became the most visited and photographic site in the city. It is a perfect place where lovers and family can bond and enjoy each other’s company so do not forget your camera and enjoy a day in Place-Royale.

Quebec City Parliament Buildings

Designed by Eugène-Étienne Taché (1836-1912), he pictured the place to match and become inspired by the Louvre in Paris and the Parliament Buildings of this city became famous for its architectural beauty. The building is complete with an inner courtyard surrounded by quadrilateral buildings that houses the elected government representatives of Quebec. Some of the parliament proceedings are open to the public where they can witness their officials do their job to serve the country. There are also tours held for tourists and the Le Parlementaire Restaurant where visitors are welcome to enjoy scrumptious meals.

Chateau Frontenac

Showing the 19th Century architecture, the Chateau Frontenac was restored to give the visitors a taste of beautiful site located at the old Quebec City overseeing the St. Lawrence River. Including in the site is the Chateau Haldimand, which houses the British colonial governors of the lower city of Quebec. This grand hotel is recognized as the most photographed hotels in the world and hosts movie shoots that are famous for movie enthusiasts.

Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica Cathedral

Built in the early 1600s, the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica Cathedral (Our Lady of Quebec City) is one of the oldest known parishes in North America and is treasured by the locals and admired by foreigners. This architectural wonder also have witnessed battles throughout the century and was destroyed and rebuilt twice. There are tours held that will educate its visitors during May up until to the month of October and reserved tours are done from October to April.

Dufferin Terrace

This very relaxing and elegant Dufferin Terrace is found at the foot of the Chateau Frontenac that gives a refreshing experience to those who visit it. Its airy atmosphere and gorgeous sight of the waterway across the neighboring coast of Levis is complete with street performers and artists during summer. In the winter, it becomes a gigantic ice slide that gives the adventurer in you the adrenaline rush it needs.


As the pronounced UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quebec City is the only remaining fortified city in North America. Its rich history of battles from the past centuries gave its reputation. 5 kilometer walking tour is held ad guided along the majestic city wall that embraces the old city of Quebec.

Getting to Québec

Montréal can be reached with a 70 minute flight from New York and less that 7 hours from London or Paris therefore giving access to Quebec by road networks and rails. This also gives access to other neighboring cities and states. Visitors from North America, Europe and Asia can also reach this city by plane. Other mode of transportation can be by boats, cruises, snowmobiles and even on foot (for those who really love walking) by following the International Appalachian Trail.

A Tour of Quebec City

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    • Bk42author profile image

      Brenda Thornlow 4 years ago from New York

      Great hub. I've been to Canada before as my husbands family is from there but we have yet to visit Quebec! After reading this and seeing those pics we definitely have to plan a trip soon! Voted up!