Québec City, Canada

Over four hundred years have passed since Québec City, the capitol of the Canadian province of Québec, was founded by Samuel de Champlain and began its role as the wellspring of French civilization in the Americas. This vast cultural metropolis, populated by only an estimated 750,000 individuals, lies within a low-lying region situated along the St. Lawrence River, and pays homage to its European origins through numerous facets, including its French speaking populace, rustic architecture, and overall lifestyle.

While Québec City features a uniform ethos, the heart of this urban center, called Vieux-Québec, or Old Québec, is actually divided by precipitous bluffs into two districts: Upper Town, or Haute Ville, and Lower Town, also referred to as Basse Ville. The former quarter, positioned on the Cape Diamond promontory, stands in the midst of century-old fortress walls, while the latter region sprawls along the shore of the cape.

Deemed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, Upper Town, which was initially built to accommodate the steadily expanding government of New France, features a variety of immaculately preserved historic monuments, including the Chateau Frontenac, Place d’Armes, Plains of Abraham, and the Quebec Parliament. Notwithstanding its evident antiquity, the narrow streets of Upper Town still provide an ample selection of modernized bars, cafés, shops, and hotels.

The Lower Town of Old Québec holds the capitol’s oldest residential areas, which are now dotted with exquisite boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and other tourist oriented attractions, such as the Museum of Civilization. Lower Town’s cobblestone streets and breathtaking view of the raging St. Lawrence River is appreciated by a culturally diverse community, including both the suit-clad businessman and the new-age hipster.

Tradition manifests itself in Québec City not only through its aged infrastructure and timeless culture, but also through large-scale events such as the Winter Carnival and Summer Festival. The cold weather festivities were first held in the year 1894, in order to lessen the severity of winter hardships on the populace by providing several weeks of sporting events, parades, banquets, and masquerade balls. The later established Summer Festival spans eleven days, during which the city hosts hundreds of indoor and outdoor concerts, meant to showcase the artistic and economic capabilities of Quebec’s capitol.

Since its inception, Québec City has fostered the continued presence of French civilization far from its European origins. The respect bestowed upon the past is relevant in the city’s every element, and is therefore an incredibly invaluable experience to be realized.


Speak Your Mind