Quebec City, Quebec, offers an opportunity to sample Europe without leaving the North American continent. The Old Town has the look and feel of a medieval European walled city. French is the main and sometimes only language spoken — residents and business people are very proud of their French heritage (the province has actually contemplated seceding from Canada numerous times).
Quebec is old by North American standards — 1608 — and has been the site of much history in the struggle between the English and the French. In fact, the city eventually fell to the British in 1759, and has remained a part of the British Empire even to the present.
Quebec has become a major tourist destination because of all the above, its history and reminders of Europe, as well as the fact that the Old Town is extremely walkable and accessible and has become a Mecca for artists and craftspeople.
The Chateau Frontenac dominates the skyline of the Upper Town. Next to it, along the cliffs which established Quebec as a great location and made it fairly easy to fortify, is the Dufferin Terrace, which offers spectacular vistas of the Lower Town and of the St Lawrence River just beyond. The Terrace connects to the Promenade des Gouverneurs, which is a walkway that leads to Battlefield Park. There is also a Funicular which brings the visitor to Lower Town and avoids the numerous stairs.
The Citadel is one of two official residences of the Governor-General of Canada, and was built on the site of Quebec’s original fortifications. Entry is via the St Louis gate.
In the Lower Town, the quaint streets and shops provide more ambience. In particular, Place Royale is the gathering spot and also the scene of numerous events over the course of the year.
1. While in the Quebec area, visit Montmorency Falls which, although very nice and fairly tall (at about 270 feet), do not rival Niagara Falls, despite any signs to the contrary.
2. Also worth a visit is the Basilica of Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre which has been a pilgrimage location for Catholics for many years.
3. Do my walking tour to truly appreciate this charming city. It was posted on the website on 12-31-08.