VILLE DE QUÉBEC
On behalf of the French crown, in 1608, Samuel de Champlain established a fur trading post from which originated Québec, a city that today looms over the Saint Lawrence River like a majestic fortress. It is the birthplace of French culture in North America.
With its small towers and green glimmering roofs, the Chateau Frontenac majestically watches over the city. The castle like hotel was built and lavishly furnished in 1894 by the Canadian Pacific Railway and in 1943, was the rendezvous for the allies who met to prepare for the Normandy Landings.
Québec’s upper city is encircled by a four kilometre long fortified wall that was alternately built upon by the French and the English. In former times, various gates barred entry to the fortress but today, they are wide open and welcome visitors into the well preserved old town.
Designed by master builder Baillairgè in 1844, Basilique-cathédrale de Notre-Dame-de-Québec was Canada’s first Catholic cathedral. The Baroque dome of the basilica demonstrates the splendor of Catholic Church design while the altar captivates with its rich detail and paintings of the Holy Mother.
The Funiculaire connects the upper city with the lower, the Quartier Petit Champlaine that was the country’s first settlement.
The train station looks like a medieval castle and its large hall seems to be the grand entrance chamber of a palace. The station’s anterooms contain huge windows while its ceilings display colorful glass images.
Canada’s oldest city has successfully retained its deep and historic roots and has sensitively linked them to the needs of the modern world. Québec is truly a sparkling gem of French culture in North America.