Place Royale

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Samuel de Champlain established the City of Quebec in Place Royale in 1608. The plaza has a unique attractiveness because to its structures that blend French and British styles and the oldest stone church in North America.

Samuel de Champlain founded the first permanent French outpost in the Americas right here. His first home, built in 1608, served as a fort, store, trade post, and house all in one. Place Royal is regarded as the birthplace of French North America because of this.

The many architectural styles are a reflection of the various phases of French and British colonisation. Several steel and glass buildings showcase contemporary 21st century themes.

The immaculately preserved homes that encircle Place Royale have been transformed into eateries with patios and shops that market crafts, souvenirs, and other items.

Activities in Place Royale

  • Visit Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church to relax. It is the oldest stone church in North America, having been built in 1688.
  • View the second residence of Samuel de Champlain. Near the church, it is lying on the ground.
  • Take pictures of the stunning old structures in the square that represents the founding of French North America.
  • Pull yourself a chair on the terrace of Maison Smith, a great café, and take in the history and special charm of the plaza.
  • Check out the bust of Louis XIV, who was in power when New France was established.
  • When it’s snowing in the winter, go for a stroll in the evening. It truly is magical!

The Place Royale Story

Place Royale was known as Place du Marché (Market Square) and was largely used as a marketplace while France was in power, from 1604 until 1686. Naturally, Native Americans had been going there long before the first Europeans did. Small nomadic tribes spent time there hunting, fishing, and gathering, according to the earliest signs of Indigenous activity found there.

All of the wooden structures constructed by the French and first constructed in 1682 were destroyed by a devastating fire. The owners were subsequently forced to rebuild their homes in stone with common walls that were taller than the roofs to act as a fire barrier—a design element that is still present today.

A bust of Louis XIV was erected a few years later, in 1686, in accordance with French tradition, by the intendant of New France. Place du Marché was renamed Place Royale at that point. Market sellers put the bust in storage in 1700 because they said it interfered with delivery.

The structures were once again damaged in the Battle of Québec in 1759, although they were reconstructed under British rule. The neighbourhood slowly and painfully decayed until the middle of the nineteenth century as the market was relocated to another area of the city.

Place Royale has been brought back to its former splendor—Louis XIV bust and all—thanks to considerable renovation done in the 1960s and 1970s. It also contains new businesses, making it easier to welcome locals and tourists from all over the world.


Church One of the earliest churches in North America, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church was first built in 1688. On the remains of Samuel de Champlain’s first house, it was constructed. Sadly, bombardments during the Battle of Québec caused damage to it, but it was reconstructed in 1763 using the original blueprints. There is still a Sunday service there at 11 a.m., and guests are welcome.

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