The Citadelle of Quebec is still an active military installation after 300+ years. No wonder we saw replacement blocks ready to be put in place. The fortifcation is integrated into the wall surrounding Old Quebec. There is a pleasant boardwalk known as the Governor’s Promenade that runs along the outside wall, and brings you to the Terrasse Dufferin. The green space surrounding the Citadelle, provides a lovely respite and view of the St. Lawrence River for those willing to make the climb.
The oldest section of Quebec dates back to 1608 when Samuel du Champlain founded Quebec. It is maintained as a town square, as visitors enjoy taking a step back in time, rain or shine. Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church is the oldest stone church in North America, built in 1688.
Let’s admit, tourists love to shop. But, this little quarter of Old Quebec is a lovely neighborhood that embraces the architecture and ambiance of the city, while still managing to sell souvenirs. It can be reached by climbing down the Breakneck Steps. The more interesting option, especially for returning from Lower Town is the Funiculaire!
I fully expected to see a monument to French explorer Samuel de Champlain while strolling along the Terrasse Dufferin in the heart of Old Quebec. Known as the “Father of New France”, Champlain was the founder of Quebec City, along with several other colonies along the St. Lawrence River.
What I did not expect to see, was an elephant… Salvador Dali’s $3.6 million “Space Elephant” is on exhibit for two-years.
Quebec is the only walled city in North America north of Mexico. The Porte Saint Louis is one of several gates that welcome you to Old Quebec. While is has been rebuilt twice, as recently as 1880, the original gate is from 1694. Once we climbed to the top, we were able to walk along the wall to the next gate at Rue Dauphine.
The wall continues around the old city, and we found the fortified ramparts near the Saint Lawrence River at the Montmorency Historic Site. As we turned from the river view, I captured the steeple of the Seminary of Quebec, founded in 1663, in the background.
Our name was everywhere! A short walk down the street from our quaint hotel in Old Quebec brought beautiful architecture with every step. Our daily breakfast spot was just a few doors down. L’Omelette served a terrific breakfast, and was open all day for that elusive dessert we so needed one evening!
As we strolled down the block, the city’s charm oozed at every corner. We did not opt for the carriage ride, as the lovely day was meant for wandering.