Quebec Four Centuries of History - The Traveller


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Friday, May 9, 2014

Quebec Four Centuries of History

Quebec City is around four hundred years old with four centuries of history marked by encounters with the First Nations, terrible epidemics, battles between the English and French as well as acts of men and women after whom the streets have received their names.

This city has grown and developed all along the centuries with its amazing history, culture, economic success together with its urban transformation, neighbourhood life accompanied with the French language. Quebec City, the crown jewel of French Canada is one of North America’s oldest and most magnificent capital cities of Canada’s Quebec province.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The picturesque Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a living museum with narrow cobblestone streets with 17th and 18th century houses along with soaring church spires with the addition of the splendid Chateau Frontenac towering above it all.

Its population of 491,142 in 2006 made Quebec the second most popular city and the tenth most popular city in Canada and is known for its location on Saint Lawrence River and its historic Old Quebec featuring fortified city walls which are the only ones left in northern North America.

Main Attraction – The Old Town

The attraction of this destination is the Old Town which is split between the Haute Ville; the Upper Town perched above the St. Lawrence River on the Cap Diamant cliffs and the Basse Ville, the Lower Town where Samuel de Champlain had established the first French foothold in the year 1608.

The Old Town is filled with museums, mansard roofed houses along with Cobblestone Street which are tempting to be explored. Beyond the walls, through the historic town gates of Porte St. Louis and Porte St Jean, four more neighbourhoods are accessible namely St Jean Baptiste, Colline Parementaire, Montcalm and St. Roch each having awesome restaurants, shopping and nightlife.

Winter and Summer Entertainment

The vast Plains of Abraham, where the British defeated the French in 1759, is presently enshrined as a national part, offering excellent recreational opportunities.

There is plenty of entertainment in this city where in summer, musicians, actors and acrobats in period costume go on the streets bringing about a festive spirit with fireworks and song.

In winter, during the months of January and February, Quebec’s Winter Carnival is the biggest and most colourful winter festival while fall and spring bring in beautiful foliage all around.

French Speaking Province

The province of Quebec is a French speaking city and is known for its architecture and various annual festivals, the most popular being the Winter Carnival with skiing, ice sculpture and ice castle. Quebec City was the first city to be established in Canada with goals of being a permanent settlement rather than a commercial outpost like St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador or Port Royal Nova Scotia.

The French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1535 built a fort and stayed there for a year and returned in 1541 to build a permanent settlement though it was abandoned in 1542. Presently Quebec City is one of the largest cities of Canada and most of the economy is based on tourism, transportation, defence and service sector. A major part of the city’s jobs are through the provincial government being the capital city and its main industrial product from the city are paper and pulp, metal, wood items, chemicals and electronics.

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