The most beautiful friendly French Canadian City

Quebec City is beautiful (Quebec is the region), the majority of the buildings in the old city look French and it feels more French than being in modern day France. Despite some bad press my wife and I found the inhabitants very friendly and it is easier trying to speak some French words here as everyone and everything is totally bilingual. Most people who live in the region are descendants from the early French settlers and 25% of the population in Canada are French Canadian.

Haute Ville, Upper Town

The Terrase Dufferin, a boardwalk stretching from the Chateaux Frontenac Hotel to the Citadel, offers marvellous views of the St Lawrence River and the Laurentian Mountains. The old city within the fortifications is very compact and full of small stylish shops, including many art shops and restaurants and includes both Protestant and Catholic cathedrals. Quebec is well known for its order of nuns and its seminary for training Catholic priests for its once huge diocese stretching all the way to Mexico.The old city hosts many attractive buildings too numerous to list, many are seen around the Place D’Armes in Haute Ville just north of the Chateau Frontenac Hotel, where French Colonial Soldiers once used it as a parade ground.

Just outside the Old City Fortifications

Just outside the old city fortifications, which were completed by the British in 1760 is the grand looking Assemblee Nationale and close by is the beautiful Parc Des Champs De Bataille which took 50 years to develop and which includes the Plains of Abraham where General Wolfe surprised and defeated the French on 13th September 1759. It is fun to walk round the star shaped fortifications of the close by La Citadelle (Fort), started in 1750 by the French and finished in 1831 by the British; it is still a working barracks.

Bass Ville, Lower Town

To get to the Bass Ville, Lower Town, you can take the nearby funicular, the boardwalk steps, or the extremely steep road! The Bass Ville includes Vieux Port, a beautiful restored riverside walking site, focused around the former old port and the nearby Rue Du Petit Champlain. This has been cleverly restored into attractive gift and art shops and cafes from what used to be former homes of Irish dock workers, and before that, French artisans. (Champlain was the famous navigator who made the first journey from France to Canada in 1603 and eventually founded Quebec in 1608 after failing with Port Royal).My wife’s favourite area of the city, we found a very talented wood carver in one of the shops there and brought a wood carving of the Chateau.

Please contact me to learn more about Quebec City and what I consider to be an excellent itinerary taking in Toronto and Niagara Falls, Montreal and Quebec (possibly Ottawa as well) – all can easily be done by VIA Rail’s excellent rail services. See separate blog post on these cities and several Canadian Fairmont Hotel reports. There are various options for hotels in the city. Many cruise itineraries leave Quebec now and some sail to and from New York or Boston – ask me for further details of itineraries.

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Photo: Terrase Duffrin  (RG)  130915

 

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