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Upper Town, Québec

The Upper Town of Quebec, atop the 100m (330 ft) cliffs, grew up to accommodate the government of New France as well as being the lcoation of the military barracks.
Among the highlights of the Upper Town are the Citadel, the Plains of Abraham, Place d'Armes, and the Parque Historique de l'Artillerie.

Vieux Monastère des Ursulines

Just off the Rue St-Louis in Quebec stands the old Ursuline convent. Founded in 1639 by Madame de la Peltrie it provided an education for young girls, Indian as well as French.
The convent's first Mother Superior was Marie de l'Incarnation who came from Tours in France. She made great efforts to get to know the Algonquin and Iroquois Indians, compiling the first ever dictionaries in their two languages. Surrounded by an aura of mystery during her lifetime and already revered as a saint in the 17th c. she was beatified in 1980.
The convent church is exceptional, being adorned with beautiful early 18th c. altars and statues by Levasseur, an artist very well known in his day. A small chapel next to the church contains the tomb of Marie de l'Incarnation. This has become an occasional place of pilgrimage.
Also full of interest is the convent museum, vividly conveying to 20th c. visitors the realities of convent life in earlier days. The lives of the convent's foundress and its first Mother Superior are thoroughly documented too. Among items of interest preserved in the museum is the skull of the French Général Montcalm who died in battle on the Plains of Abraham.
PRINT MAP EMBED < > Old Ursuline Convent - Floor plan map Old Ursuline Convent Map


The stone walls of the Citadel in Quebec City.
Thrusting upwards from the west towards the St Lawrence, Cap Diamant reaches a height of 100 m (330 ft) and commands an extensive and varied panorama. On it stands Québec's Citadel, completed in 1832, a massive fortress with hardly an equal anywhere in the world. Within the protection of its thick walls, ramparts and ditches (laid out roughly in the shape of a star) are military quarters for generals, officers and men. One of the excellently restored buildings is now the summer residence of the Governor General of Canada while the mid-18th c. powder magazine in the southern corner of the Citadel has been converted into a military museum.
Today the Citadel is the headquarters of the 22nd Canadian Regiment which, formed at the beginning of the First World War, boasts a distinguished record including action at the Battle of the Somme and - much later - in the Korean War.
Address: Côte de la Citadelle, Quebec, QU G1R4V7, Canada

City Fortifications

Popular shopping street inside walls of the old Quebec City.
In the more than 300 years of its history Québec has come to possess a variety of fortifications, all of which can be explored on a (fairly long) circular walk. The bastions, walls, towers, gates and countless old cannon leave no doubt as to the thoroughness with which the former French colony was protected.
Completed in 1832 the 4.5 km (23/4 mi.) of defensive ramparts on the west flank of the Old City were constructed of granite and sand, the only fortifications of this kind in North America.
The numerous pieces of weaponry positioned along the ancient para- pets and terraces encircling the Upper Town are a constant reminder of Québec's troubled past.

Parc Historique de l'Artillerie

Proceeding northwards from La Poudrière leads in the first instance to the partly restored Porte St-Jean. Beyond the old gate lies the Parc de l'Artillerie into which a number of ancient buildings have been incorporated (part of a military complex including barracks which was constructed here in the 17th and 18th c.). The Logis d'Officiers (officers' quarters) and the neighboring Redoute Dauphine with its mighty walls have been excellently restored. In 1879 an arsenal was established on the site, and afterwards a factory making munitions and other military equipment. The latter closed in 1964. The factory building now houses an information center devoted to the city's history (with an enthralling model of 19th c. Québec).
Address: 2 D'Auteuil Street, Box 2474, Postal Terminal, Québec, QU G1K7R3, Canada

Plains of Abraham

A canon on display at the Plains of Abraham.
To the west of the Québec Citadel stretches the green expanse known as the Plains of Abraham (Champs de Bataille) where in 1759 the British led by General Wolfe fought the French under Montcalm.
Information boards are provided, making it possible to trace the course of events. Also to be seen are the remains of two Martello towers, later additions to Québec's fortifications.

Joan of Arc Garden

Located in the Plains of Abraham is the Joan of Arc Garden, with a fabulous display of flowers from spring until fall. The gardens were designed by Louis Perron and begun in the late 1930s.

Place d'Armes

The Place d'Armes (Arms Square) in the Upper Town of Quebec is Old Québec's busy main square.
This square, located in front of the Chateau Frontenac, comes to life during the summer months with performers and entertainers.

Musée du Fort

The little Musée du Fort in the Place d'Armes in Québec is well worth a visit by anyone with an interest in history. The story of the city and the various battles for Québec are vividly recounted with the aid of a son et lumière show.
Address: 10 Ste Anne Street, Box 833, Quebec, QU G1R4S7, Canada

Cathédrale Notre-Dame

The Cathedrale Notre-Dame in Quebec City.
The Catholic cathedral with its lovely façade was designed by the architect Baillairgé and completed in 1844.
Two previous cathedrals stood on this same site but were destroyed by fire. The first of these was built in the mid 17th Century.
The interior of Notre-Dame de Quebec is very impressive with a beautiful altar, episcopal canopy, and stained-glass windows.
Address: 16 Buade Street, Québec, QU G1R4A1, Canada

City Hall

In the basement of Québec's venerable old city hall (directly opposite the cathedral) there is an interesting exhibition on urban life and history. A statue of Cardinal Taschereau (1820-98) stands in the hotel forecourt, which once served as a marketplace. Taschereau, a former rector of Laval University, was the first Canadian to be made a cardinal.
Address: 2 rue des Jardins, Quebec, QU G1R4S9, Canada

Rue du Trésor

The Place d'Armes leads into the colorful Rue du Trésor, Québec's equivalent of Montmartre. Like its Parisian counterpart the street is usually crowded with artists exhibiting their work. Paintings and prints in particular are among the many items offered for sale.

Québec Experiénce

Québec Experiénce is a 3D multimedia show featuring 400 years of Quebec's history. The presentation lasts 30 minutes and is a great place for those wishing to learn a little about Quebec's past.
Address: 8 rue de Trésor, 2 Etage, Canada

Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

The exterior of Québec's Cathédrale Anglicane / Anglican cathedral is very similar to London's St Martin's in the Fields. It was the first Anglican cathedral to be consecrated outside the United Kingdom (in 1804). The interior has a very fine choir installed in honor of the British monarch, with beautiful choir stalls.
Address: 31 Rue des Jardins, Quebec, QU G1R4L6, Canada

Rue St-Louis

The Rue St-Louis, main thoroughfare of the Upper Town of Quebec, extends south-westward as far as the old Porte St-Louis. Along it are found some of the city's oldest stone buildings including the Maison Kent, Maison Maillou and Maison Jacquet.

La Pourdrière (Center d'interprétation des Fortifications-de-Québec)

Quebec City's Porte Saint-Jean.
Visitors to the old powder magazine near the Porte St-Louis can see a film tracing the various stages in the development of the city's defenses.
The Esplanade Powder Magazine was built in the first part of the 19th Century and has been completely restored.

Hôtel Dieu and Augustines de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec Musem

A short distance north-east of the Parc de l'Artillerie in Québec stands the Hôtel Dieu, an Augustinian hospital built in the 1640s. The small Augustines de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec Musem contains some handsome pieces of old furniture and a variety of domestic items from days gone by. There are also displays of old surgical instruments and a collection of religious art.
The hospital's well preserved vaults were used as workshops and stores and also as places of refuge.
Address: 32, rue Charlevoix, Québec, QU G1R5C4, Canada

Voutes du Palais

The Voutes du Palais, to the north-west and a little way down from the Hôtel Dieu in Quebec, were once the cellars of the Intendant's Palace. They now house exhibitions on the city's history.

Musée de Québec (Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec)

There is an excellent collection of work by Canadian artists in the Musée de Québec (in the Parc des Champs Bataille on the former battlefield).
In front of the museum stands an imposing monument to General Wolfe.
The museum features a permanent collection of 36,000 works from the 17th century to present, as well as temporary exhibitions.
Address: Parc des Champs-de-Bataille, Québec, QU G1R5H3, Canada

Edifice Price

Edifice Price is designed after the Empire State building in New York. The building housed the headquarters of the Price Brothers Company, a lumber firm in the 1930s. The building is an art-deco style with 15 floors, which became Quebec's first skyscraper in 1929. Edifice Price has an impressive interior with art showing the history of the Price Brothers Company.

Terrasse Grey

Terrasse Grey provides a lovely view of the wide St Lawrence River valley.

Morrin Cultural Centre

The Morrin Cultural Centre in Quebec is housed in a heritage site that includes two prisons and a Scottish college. The library of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec has been located at Morrin Centre since 1868. The collection includes English-speaking materials emphasizing Canadian fiction and history, biographies, and local interest material.
Tours of the Morrin Centre take visitors to the prison cells, the former College Hall, and the library.
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