10 Sites to Explore More Than 400 Years of History

Thank you for visiting the only fortified city north of Mexico! Learn about the rich history of North America’s first French settlement. Old Québec is renowned for its quaint European atmosphere and restored architectural gems. Every structure and street corner in the district, which is best explored on foot, is a separate chapter in a living history book.

Here are the top 10 historic sites in the city:

1. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is Old Québec

In Old Québec, history may be found on every street, at every monument, and inside every old building.

The fortified city is quite walkable, has a distinct European vibe, and has been remarkably well kept for 400 years. Its gorgeous neighbourhoods and architecture will appeal to you for their appearance and allure.

2. The History of the Founding Nations

The history of a powerful, proud, and distinctively North American people, with both European and Aboriginal ancestry, is what defines Québec City.

Visit with members of the First Nations who are devoted to their heritage and historians of the events that defined our nation. Numerous structures and ruins also provide witness to New France’s founding, legacy, and the time when, following numerous battles, it came under British administration. The impact of both countries may be seen in a number of significant locations that are now tourist hotspots.

3. The Canadian National Historic Sites

Discover the nearly 4.6-kilometer-long Québec Fortifications, which surround Old Québec. This side of Mexico, they are unique! Then make your way over to Artillery Park, where historical figures in period garb will greet you as you enter defensive structures constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Visit Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux, an archaeological crypt discovered beneath the Dufferin Terrace, to learn about the past of a location where decisions that had an impact on all of North America were made.

And to cap off your journey, visit Cartier-Brébeuf Park to discover more about Jacques Cartier’s first winter in Québec City in 1535 and the Jesuits’ history.

4. The Military Tradition and the Citadel

On Cape Diamond, explore the “Gibraltar of the Americas”! The star-shaped Citadel, a significant component of the city’s defences, displays Quebec’s military heritage. The military rituals, the Royal 22e Régiment museum, which is housed in an 1842 military prison and a powder magazine from 1750, are all worthwhile.

5. Plains of Abraham

Discover the birthplace of Canada!

Discover the Battlefields Park, where the French and English armies fought in the 1759 Montcalm-Wolfe and 1760 Lévis-Murray conflicts. The park is not only among the best urban parks in the world, but it also serves as a constant reminder of the area’s colourful past. To learn more about this heritage site, a variety of displays and interpretation programmes are available.

6. Parliament Building

Learn about the people who have influenced Quebec’s political history. They are honoured by the 26 bronze statues that line the magnificent facade of the Parliament Building.

Come inside and explore this magnificent structure constructed between 1786 and 1886. Visits to the Speakers’ Gallery, the Legislative Council Room, the National Assembly Chamber, and the famed restaurant Le Parlementaire are also recommended.

7. Ancient Churches

Churches in Québec City are architectural wonders, much like castles in Europe.

A fantastic delight for history lovers is Québec. You’ll be astounded by the  Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral, Cathedral’s the final resting place of four New France governors (during the summer only), the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church, the continent’s oldest stone structure (built in 1688), the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine, and the numerous other churches in the area that are more than a century old!

8. Île d’Orléans

Discover the island’s birthplace of New France and its many exquisitely maintained historical structures by taking a tour.

At Parc marine de Saint-Laurent in the summer, take in breathtaking vistas of the St. Lawrence River while learning about the area’s nautical past. In Maison Drouin, a typical house that has maintained its authenticity, relive the way of life of the settlers. Finally, while visiting Maison de nos Aeux, you can research the genealogical histories of 300 families that arrived on the island at the start of the colony.

9. Museums of History

Throughout the years, several archaeological excavations have turned up artefacts that attest to Québec’s lengthy history.

An immersive display called L’Îlot des Palais is being created in the vaults from the 18th century of one of Québec’s most important archaeological sites. Since the opening of the first hospital in North America, the nuns have conserved approximately 40,000 items from their work with patients at the Musée des Augustines.

10. The Travel Paths

Explore historic mansions, mills, and churches along the New France Route, one of the continent’s oldest thoroughfares. Or go to the Portneuf area’s Chemin du Roy. It was the first highway between Québec City and Montréal when it was constructed in 1737.

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