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Beautiful Quebec City in the Providence of Quebec, Canada is located alongside the St. Lawrence River. There are so many attractions in Quebec City that it is hard to determine what to see first. Rich history and awe-inspiring scenery are only a few of the many draws to area.
Vieux-Quebec – or Old Town Quebec – is located on top of Cap Diamant. Cap Diamant is a rocky bluff that originally served as a military defense for the city. Vieux-Quebec is still partially surrounded by fortress walls. In fact, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 because of the uniqueness of the wall – it is the only walled city north of Mexico.
In a similar fashion, Notre-Dame Basilica is the oldest Catholic parish north of Mexico. It has been bombarded, reconstructed, and restored over the course of its existence, dating back to 1647. There are 900 individuals buried in the Basilica’s crypt, including four of New France’s governors. There is also an organ concert at the Basilica the first Sunday of each month.
Château Fronetnac is the most famous of all the attractions in Quebec City. It is an 1893 hotel that reminds visitors of a spectacular castle with many splendid turrets. In fact, it is a version of a palace that can be found in the Loire Valley of France. Tours are always available for visitors; however, it is recommended that reservations be made in advance.
The Citadelle is one of the many military-inspired attractions in Quebec City. It is a star-shaped fortress that was built by the Duke of Wellington to defend against the potential for American attacks after the War of 1812. Tours take the public through the Citadelle and the twenty-five buildings around the campus. Some of the other buildings include the prison and the powder house – now both are museums. Visitors can witness the changing of the guard at the Citadelle, as well.
The Place-Royale, or Royal Square, is one of the attractions in Quebec City that makes up its heart and soul. It was the town center in the 1600s and 1700s. Now, folk dancing and festivities abound at all times of the year. There is even a bust of King Louis XIV at the center of the square.
Parc des Champs-de-bataille, or Plains of Abraham,is a large 267 acre (108 hectares) urban park. It has two Martello towers made of stone and designed to defend the city. It also has bike paths, picnic areas, and a stage for summer concerts. In addition, it offers visitors a chance to stroll through an art museum where the majority of the painters and sculptors were born in Quebec. For example, Jean-Paul Riopelle has a permanent exhibit at the museum. The museum was built in 1933 and newer construction includes a reception area, gift shop and tasty café.
Another of the exquisite attractions in Quebec City is the Hôtel du Parlement. It houses the National Assembly and can be toured with a guide or on one’s own. The Musée de la Civilisation is a must-see attraction. It has amazing displays, hands-on exhibits, holograms, videos, and everything in between. Dragons, ants, cinema, and murder mysteries are a few of the topics that have been covered.
For those who want to venture beyond the city limits of Quebec City – Ile d’Orléans is only 10 miles (16 km) out. It was inhabited by the Native American Indians and then settled by the French as a trading post. It is isolated from the mainland; so, only about 7,000 people currently live there. It is relatively unchanged and is a farming area. So, historic homes and fruit stands are the norm.
Only 7 miles (11 km) outside of Quebec City are the Montmorency Falls. They are 272 feet (83 m) tall – higher than the world-famous Niagara Falls. At night during the summer, they are illuminated for a true photo opportunity.