Quebec City has long been a destination I‘ve wanted to visit. Old Quebec, or Vieux-Québec, has a well-known reputation of rich history being the only city north of Mexico that has retained its fortified city walls.
I would further say that along with Guanajuato, Mexico, Quebec City is the most European of cities in the New World. This was, after all, the capital of New France, founded over 400 years ago.
Although initially settled in 1535 after Jacques Cartier landed, France didn’t establish a permanent city here until 1608, under the auspices of explorer Samuel de Champlain. They called it Kebec, from the Algonquian word meaning ‘the river narrows here’.
We started our tour of Quebec in Place Royale, the Old Lower Town’s main square. There is a huge mural depicting all the major players of Quebec’s history. We also heard a fiddler playing some traditional Quebec music.
After walking thoroughly through the Lower Old Town and Upper Old town, we climbed on top of the ramparts and exited through Porte St. Louis where the handsome Hotel du Parlament, Quebec’s Parliament Building, stands. Grande Alle Est led us to Battlefields Park, a gorgeous green that was once the site of a bloody battle between the English and French.
Close by is the Fine Arts Museum, which is partially located in an old restored prison. Following a look at the outstanding collection of Quebecois and Inuit art we headed over to the bohemian district of Rue St-Jean to try one of the many Quebec micro brews on offer at Bar Le Sacrilege.
We were lucky enough to visit during the Expo Quebec and have excellent couchsurfing hosts that helped us with recommendations and guiding us around the city, as well as teaching us about Quebecois culture and history.
The mural at Place Royale
NotreDame des Victoires
Old Lower Town and funicular
Rue du Petit Champlain
Art Decco Palais Montcalm
Art for sale in Quebec City
Le Chateau Frontenac
Basilica Notre Dame de Quebec
View from the city walls
On the Walls of Quebec City
View of the Hotel du Parlement
Hotel du Parlement
Hotel du Parlement front door
Martello Tower 2
Martello Tower 1 in Battlefield Park
Battlefields Park and Martello Tower
A maple tree
Musee National des Beaux Arts du Quebec
A sculpture behind the Musee National des Beaux Arts du Quebec
View of Quebec City from Ile d’ Orleans
Above Old Lower Town