Best historical locations

Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is steeped in history. View the historical imprints that the French, British, First Nations, and North Americans have left behind.

Québec National Historic Site: Fortifications

The only city completely surrounded by walls north of Mexico is Québec City, which is a prized UNESCO World Heritage site.

Old Québec is encircled by 4.6 kilometres of fortifications, a reminder of its former military importance.

  • Learning about the defences in Québec City with an experienced guide
  • An aerial view of the majestic Saint-Jean and Saint-Louis Gates
  • By visiting the officers’ quarters at the Artillery Park, you may immerse yourself in the history of the British military era in Québec City.

Quebec’s Citadelle

Since 1872, the largest British stronghold in North America has served as the residence of Canada’s Governor General. Other noteworthy structures include the Dalhousie Gate, the only intact Citadelle gate, and the oldest French military structure in Canada, which dates to 1693.

You’ll like:

  • Admire the breathtaking aerial views of Old Québec, the St. Lawrence River, and the Laurentian Mountains to the north
  • Having your photo taken with a soldier wearing a bearskin helmet and a scarlet tunic
  • attending the summertime changing of the guard (cancelled in 2022)

Plains of Abraham

When the British army defeated the French in the renowned Battle of the Plains in 1759, it decided the fate of North America on this large tract of hilly green that is now a federal park.

You’ll like:

  • Battles, a riveting immersive projection, allows viewers to witness the illustrious Battle of Sainte-Foy and Battle of the Plains of Abraham.
  • Entering the Martello Towers to view an exhibit or participate in a fun activity will teach you more about these fortified buildings constructed at the beginning of the 19th century to protect the city.
  • Going for a stroll through the spectacular park’s many monuments, commemorative plaques, and informational panels

Frontenac Château

The Château Frontenac and other hotels of a similar calibre were erected by William Van Horne, CEO of the Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway, to advertise rail travel as a luxurious experience. The grand hotel soon gained popularity among visitors travelling through Québec City after it opened in 1893 and was chosen as the location for elegant gatherings and significant events.

You’ll like:

  • taking a photo of the hotel that is most popular worldwide
  • visiting this historical site on a fascinating guided tour with Cicérone Tours, which will take you to places that are off limits to the general public and to chambers where important historical individuals stayed and history was formed.
  • Seeing items that are nearly 400 years old being displayed in glass cabinets for public viewing

Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site

Near Château Frontenac, under Dufferin Terrace, is this archaeological crypt. From the time of Samuel de Champlain in 1620 until it was completely destroyed by fire in 1834, it served as the house and the centre of government for successive governors.

You’ll like:

  • exploring Château Saint-ruins Louis’s
  • observing the children’s enjoyment as they conduct their own archaeological dig

Parliament Building

The Parliament Building, which houses the National Assembly of Québec, is the most important historic site in the province and the location of the legislature. The brand-new welcome facility was opened in 2019 and provides everyone with access to a contemporary learning environment.

You’ll like:

  • Observing the Second Empire-style façade and the 26 bronze statues honouring people who have influenced the history of the province
  • Taking a free guided tour of the Parliament to learn about the history and political institutions of the province.
  • savouring a fantastic meal at Le Parlementaire, a Beaux Arts-style eatery that offers amazing terroir goods and is one of the city’s best-kept secrets.

The Morrin Center

The Morrin Centre is an intriguing contrast study. It was initially constructed as a regular jail and then transformed into an English-speaking higher education facility. It now contains a lovely Victorian library.

You’ll like:

  • Visiting the first jail in Québec, seeing actual prisoner quarters, and hearing some incredibly unexpected prison tales
  • captivated by the eerie tales surrounding the lovely Victorian Library, which houses a collection of literary treasures, some of which date back to the 16th century.

Monastère des Augustines

North of Mexico, in 1639, Augustinian nuns constructed the first hospital on the continent. They dedicated their life to helping others with physical and mental problems for nearly 400 years. They contributed to the advancement of contemporary medicine as well.

You’ll like:

  • architecture that seamlessly combines antique and modern elements
  • The permanent exhibition’s 40,000 objects from 12 Augustinian monastery hospitals show the social and spiritual work done by Augustinian nuns in Québec over the years.

Îlot des Palais

Enjoy all the pleasures of the 17th century! Explore the area surrounding the first brewery in New France and the intendants’ residence. There are both temporary and permanent installations at Îlot des Palais that explore the history of the location.

You’ll like:

  • Observing the largest discernible French-era arches, which date to the 18th century
  • GeoRally of the Intendant to play

Additional Historic Sites

There are numerous other fascinating and educational heritage structures scattered around the Québec City region, including religious, military, and architectural structures.

You’ll like:

  • visiting locations like Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site that have influenced the history of Quebec and the lives of those who built it
  • Taking in the breathtaking vistas from locations like the Old Québec funicular railway
  • Educating oneself about architecture and developing a deeper appreciation for it
  • visiting storied parks and gardens like Domaine Maizerets and Cartier-Brébeuf Park with family and friends

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(1) Comment

  1. History of Québec City – Tour to USA

    […] is so much to explore in Québec City, and the majority of the ancient attractions are grouped together within the fortress walls, only a short distance from one another. Everywhere […]

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