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Visiting the Quebec Parliament Building, Quebec City, Quebec: neo-Renaissance structure built between 1877 and 1886
Remembering Quebec's history at the seat of its legislature
This fine, neo-Renaissance structure in Quebec City (French: Ville de Québec ), Quebec / Québec, dates from between 1877 and 1886. It was designed by architect Eugène-Étienne Taché (1836-1912)(1).
The building is the seat of the National Assembly of Quebec (French: Assemblée nationale du Québec ).
A prominent feature of the building is the centrally situated tower, with a mansard roof, over which the familiar fleurdelisé (2) flag of Quebec flies. Many statues of distinguished, historical figures associated with Quebec are displayed on the main frontage of the building; these include representations of: Charles-Michel d'Irumberry de Salaberry (1778-1829), hero of the War of 1812 (French: Guerre de 1812 ); François Gaston de Lévis (1719-1787) Marshall of France who achieved military distinction in New France (French: Nouvelle-France); Samuel de Champlain (c.1567-1635), founder of Quebec City; Louis Jolliet (1645-c.1700), explorer, and various others.
A fountain dedicated to Amerindians (French: Amérindiens), often referred to in Canada today as First Nations (French: Premières Nations), is situated near the entrance to the Parliament building.
My wife and I stayed at an hotel, situated adjacent to the Parliament building, which also afforded fine views of the famous Château Frontenac beyond. Of all the cities that I have visited, Quebec City must count among the most impressive, and the Parliament Building is doubtless one of the city's most striking sights. Our visit was during snowy weather, but I would particularly like to visit again when the gardens in front of the Parliament Building display their flowers to the best effect.
(1) Interestingly, Architect Taché was also the person who coined the motto of Québec: Je me souviens (I remember), particularly familiar to Canadians as an inscription printed on vehicle number plates registered in Quebec.
(2) The fleurdelisé was adopted by the legislature as the official flag of Quebec in 1948, during the Premiership of Maurice Duplessis (1890-1959); this is based upon the traditional lys symbol, formerly associated with the kings of France.
(3) The Louis Jolliet House (French: Maison Louis-Jolliet) is situated in the Lower Town.
Also worth seeing
In Quebec City itself, among the many visitor attractions are the Château Frontenac, the place Royale and the Petit-Champlain district; the Citadel (French: la Citadelle ), the Ramparts (French: Les Remparts ) and city gates; the Louis S. St.-Laurent Heritage House (French: Maison patrimoniale Louis-S.-St.-Laurent ); the Old Quebec Funicular Railroad (French: Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec ) is a good way to descent to the Lower Town (French: Basse-Ville).
On the outskirts of the City are: the Montmorency Falls (French: la Chute Montmorency ); Orléans Island (French: Île d'Orléans ).
How to get there: Air Canada flies to Quebec City (Aéroport international Jean-Lesage de Québec) from Montreal and Toronto, with wide connections. VIA Rail maintains regular services with Montreal, Toronto and Windsor. A number of car rental companies offer service at Quebec City airport. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
Other of my hubpages may also be of interest
- Visiting Old Quebec, Quebec, and its funicular railroad: an engineering feat in use since 1879
- Visiting the Louis S. St. Laurent House, Quebec City: former residence of a Canadian man for all sea
- Visiting Mount Royal: commanding views of Montreal, Quebec
- Visiting the Canadian National War Memorial, Ottawa, Ontario: poignant monument with Chateau Laurier
- Visiting New York City: views of the Statue of Liberty, on Liberty Island