Aug. 20 – 23, 2013
What a delightful little trip we had to Quebec, Canada. We each had a $500 flight voucher because of a flight from hell. So, after very little contemplation we decided to go see what Quebec looks like. We have always heard that “The Old City” both upper and lower town is beautiful. And indeed we found that to be true.
Quebec is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located along the St. Lawrence River (Seaway). A high stone wall surrounds the historic Upper Town portion of the Old City. The Plains of Abraham and the Citadelle are located near the edge of the promontory. Lower Town is located at shore level. Most of the historic sites are within the city wall of Haute-Ville (Upper Town) and Basse-Ville (Lower Town).
Hotel Louisbourg: The first photo is looking down the street towards our hotel, the second photo shows the green shuttered building of “Hotel Louisbourg”. The hotel is in a building from the early 19th century, is recently renovated, and located on Louisbourg Street in the heart of Old Quebec, Upper Town. I booked our hotel on-line using the hotel website. Was very pleased with the quaint little hotel, and it’s in easy walking distance to everything in the historic area.
Anciens Canadiens Restaurant: It is located in one of the oldest buildings in Quebec having being built in 1675-1676. We arrived in Quebec in the early afternoon and didn’t waste anytime checking into our hotel and walking down the street to this nice restaurant to take advantage of the lunch special prices. Our lunch was delightful and included the area specialty of meat pie, pea soup and hot maple pie. Oh yes, it’s listed in the “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” book.
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac: The chateau style hotel, is reportedly one of the most photographed hotel in the world. It was built for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and opened in 1893 to house railroad passengers and encourage tourism. It’s commanding position is atop Cap Diamant, the rock bluff that once provided military defense.
The Champlain Monument: Located next to the Chateau Frontenac Hotel. Bleachers were set up near it and street acts were happening all afternoon and evening. We enjoyed watching all the fun things.
The Governor’s Promenade/Terrasse Dufferin: Located on the river side of the Chateau Frontenac Hotel is an elevated boardwalk along the cliff that overlooks the Lower Town and the St. Lawrence River. The area is complete with lots and lots of park benches and you can people watch or look through the wrought-iron fence at the lower town and the river. Thus ended our first day in Quebec.
I had purchased Frommer’s “Montreal & Quebec City” travel book and we decided to follow the walking tour as outlined in the book. On Wednesday we did the Upper Town ( Haute-Ville) and Thursday we did the Lower Town (Basse-Ville & Vieux-Port). Since it is such an easy walking town we actually completed the tour and saw everything listed. It was a very enjoyable because we casually strolled along and tried out many park benches and stopped for refreshments along the way.
Upper Town (Vieux-Quebec: Haute-Ville)
Changing of the Guards, La Citadelle: The star-shaped fortress keeps watch from a commanding position on a grassy plateau 354 feet above the banks of the St. Lawrence. It’s the home of the French-speaking Royal 22e Regiment, and is North America’s largest fortified group of buildings still occupied by troops. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is an elaborate 45 minute choreographed ceremony inspired by the Changing of the Royal Guard in London. It’s included in the regular admission fee.
The Citadelle: The duke of Wellington had this partially star-shaped fortress built at the south end of the city walls in anticipation of renewed American attacks after the War of 1812. Dug into the Plains of Abraham high above Cape Diamant, the fort has a low profile that keeps it all but invisible until walkers are actually upon it. The facility has never actually exchanged fire with an invader.
Ramparts of Quebec City are the only remaining fortified city walls in North America north of Mexico. The English began fortifying the existing walls, after they took Quebec City from the French in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759.
Hotel du Parlement: The Quebecois Parliament Building is in this Second Empire chateau constructed in 1886. The water fountain is located in front of the building.
After a little refreshment it was time to continue on with our Frommer’s walking tour of the Upper Town. Back to my favorite area (The Promenade). The Obelisk Monument is by the Promenade and in the park next to the Chateau Frontenac Hotel. If is dedicated to both generals who died when the French were defeated and the English took over Quebec.
A couple old buildings in Quebec. Maison Jacquet (red roof) dates back to 1677 and now houses our favorite little restaurant that we enjoyed the day before. Maison Maillou (stone building with metal shutters) dates back to 1736 and was built as an elegant luxury home and later served as headquarters of militias and armies.
Place d’Armes: A pretty plaza across the street from Chateau Frontenac Hotel. All over the Old Town are lots of park benches, and we tried out several of them. They fit pretty well.
Rue du Tresor: Artists hang their prints and paintings on both sides of the walkway.
Basilique Notre-Dame: The basilica’s golden interior is ornate. Many artworks remain from the time of the French regime. The basilica dates back to 1647 and has suffered a history of bombardment and reconstruction.
Seminaire de Quebec: Founded in 1663 By North America’s first bishop, this seminary had grown into Laval University by 1852.
After a nice dinner it was time to go to some more fun street entertainment.
Lower Town of Basse-Ville & Vieux-Port: Our third day in Quebec and it’s time to continue on with Frommer’s Walking Tour down to the lower town of the old city.
We went down the stairs located near the Funicular on the Boardwalk. Down, down we did go but it was pleasant because the stairs staggered through different areas, so you could enjoy the unfolding scene.
The buildings in lower town were charming and there were beautiful flowers here, there and everywhere.
As we strolled along how could we not enjoy these lovely scenes?
Merrily we stroll along…….
Place-Royale: This small but picturesque plaza is considered to be the birthplace of French America. It was the town marketplace, and the center of business and industry.
Eglise Notre-Dame-des-Victoires: This church dominates the plaza. It’s Quebec’s oldest stone church, built in 1688. Its paintings, altar and large model boat suspended from the ceiling were votive offerings brought by early settlers to ensure safe voyages.
Mural of Streets & Houses: Depictions of citizens from the earliest colonial days to the present. It was a fun place to stand among the characters in the mural and have a photo taken.
We toured the Museum of Civilization, but by reading all the wonderful comments about it, I think we must have missed something. It was okay. After that we continued on a long walk along the waterfront.
Well, we didn’t walk back up to the Upper Town, we took the Funicular.
An absolutely delightful three days in Quebec, Canada. Try it sometime, I bet you’d enjoy it!
Fly, fly away home!