Quebec Things to Do Tips by Blatherwick
Quebec Things to Do: 518 reviews and 884 photos
The Seminary of Quebec was established in 1663 as an institution for Canadian priesthood studies. The site became the original site for French Canada's major Laval University in the mid 19th century. The university moved out in the 1960s but some faculties, such as the School of Architecture, still remain. Also on the site are a chapel and a museum.
Address: Latin Quarter
Hotel de Ville
The City Hall of Quebec was built in 1895 on the former site of a destroyed college des Jesuites. Tours of the building with its mix of neo-Roman styles start at 9 am. Place d'Armes, right in front of the building, is a former military parade ground which is now used as a park and a place for the buskers to utilize during festivals
Address: 2 Rue des Jardins
Phone: (418) 691-6467
Notre-Dame de Quebec Cathedral
The Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec (Our Lady of Quebec City) is the primate church of Canada and seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Quebec, the oldest see in the New World north of Mexico. It is also the parish church of the oldest parish in North America. It was the first church in North America to be elevated to the rank of minor Basilica by Pope Pius IX in 1874. Located on this site since 1647, the Cathedral has twice been destroyed by fire throughout the centuries. Paintings and holy treasures still remain from the time of the French regime, including a chancel lamp given by Louis XIV. Four governors of New France and the bishops of Quebec are buried in the crypt, including Francois de Laval, Quebec's first bishop.
Address: 20 rue Buade
Phone: (418) 694-0665
The Quebec Bridge holds the distinction of being the longest Cantilever Bridge span in the world at 549 m (1800 feet). The bridge has an interesting history that has had an effect on all of Canada.
Before the Quebec Bridge was built, the only way to travel from the south shore of the St. Lawrence in Levis to the north shore at Quebec City was to take a ferry. The first attempt to construct the bridge was a disaster. On August 29, 1907 the south arm and part of the central section of the bridge collapsed into the St. Lawrence River in just 15 seconds. Of the 86 workers on the bridge that day near quitting time, 75 were killed and the rest were injured. Disaster struck again on September 11, 1916, when the prefabricated center section was being raised into place between the rebuilt cantilever arms. This collapse killed 11 men. Construction was ultimately completed in August 1919.
Some have claimed that a portion of the collapsed bridge has been used over the past century to smelt rings used in the Iron Ring issued in the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer ceremonies, administered for graduating Canadian engineering students. However, the bridge was made of steel, not raw iron. Nonetheless these rings, voluntarily carried on the little finger of the working hand of professional engineers in Canada, are meant to serve as a reminder to engineers of their social responsibilities to follow the ethical requirements of their profession to avoid disaster.
Address: St. Lawrence River east of the city centre
Hotel du Parlement
The Quebec Parliament Building is a eight-floor building and home to the National Assembly of Quebec. The building was designed by architect Eugene-Etienne Tache and was built from 1877 to 1886. With the central tower, the building stands at 52 metres or 171 feet in height. The building was constructed with a Second Empire style of architecture. Twenty-two bronze statues of some of the most prominent figures in Quebec's history gaze out from the facade.
Address: Corner of Grande-Allee Est and Ave. Honore-Mercier
Phone: (418) 643-7239
Parc de l'Artillerie
Artillery Park served as a functional ammunition factory until 1964. After its closure it was turned into a museum. I is surrounded by fortifications erected by the French in the 17th and 18th centuries. You can go into the officers' mess and quarters, an iron foundry, and a scale model of the city created in 1806. During the summer months theree are daily musket demonstrations.
Address: 2 rue d'Auteuil
Directions: Near Porte St-Jean
Phone: (418) 648-4205
The Citadelle is the home station of the Royal 22e Regiment of the Canadian Forces. As part of a guided tour only, the public may visit the Citadel and its 25 buildings, including the small regimental museums in the former powder house and prison. Also of interest in the daily ceremonies of the changing of the guard or beating the retreat. In addition to its use as a military installation, it is also an official residence of the Governor General of Canada, who by tradition resides there for several weeks out of the year.
The Duke of Wellington had this fortress built at the south end of the city walls in anticipation of renewed American attacks after the War of 1812. The existing star-shaped fortifications were built between 1820 and 1831 under the direction of Royal Engineer lieutenant colonel Elias Walker Durnford and incorporated a section of the French "enceinte" of 1745. The preservation of much of the fortifications and defences of Quebec is due to the intervention of Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, Governor General of Canada, who first established the Citadelle as a vice-regal residence.
The Quebec Conferences of 1943 and 1944, in which Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Lyon Mackenzie King discussed strategy for World War II, were held at the Citadelle of Quebec.
Address: 1 Cote de la Citadelle
Directions: Walk up the Cote de la Citadelle from the St-Louis Gate
Phone: (418) 694-2815
This is the oldest stone church in North America. Originally built in 1688, the church was restored twice. The first time it was destroyed by shellfire in 1759. Inside is a quaint little church. Of particular interest is a scale model suspended in the nave that depicts the vessel "Le Breze", which transported the commander Marquis de Tracy and soldiers of the Carignan Regiment to New France in 1664.
Address: 12 Place Royale
Phone: (418) 692-1650
Parc Des Braves
This park fronted by a monument is dedicated to the French victory over the British at the Battle of Sainte-Foy. The battle was fought on April 28, 1760 during the Seven Years War. It was a victory for the French under the Chevalier de Lévis over the British army under General Murray. The British army lost over one thousand, killed and wounded and the French almost nine hundred casualties, making the Battle of Sainte-Foy one of the bloodiest engagements ever fought on Canadian soil.
Lévis was, however, unable to retake Quebec City. The British garrison withstood a siege until the arrival of naval reinforcements. When HMS Lowestoft raised its flag as it neared Quebec, Lévis raised the siege and retreated to Montreal, where he surrendered in September.
Today the battle is remembered by the monument while a park is used for summer recreation by the locals.
Address: Avenue Des Braves and Chemin Ste. Foy
Directions: Just west of the Plains of Abraham is Avenue Des Braves. Head down the street and you will come across the park.
Plains of Abraham
This may be the most famous park in Canada. This is where the English, led by General James Wolfe, defeated the French, led by General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, Marquis of Montcalm in 1759. Having cleared the last remaining French obstacle to the British navy on the St. Lawrence River, the battle of Québec opened up all of New France to British control.
The Plains of Abraham was the site of another battle during the American Revolution. The Battle of Quebec was an attempt on December 31, 1775 by American revolutionaries to capture the Canadian city of Quebec and enlist Canadian support for the Revolutionary War. Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery were the two primary American commanders in the assault against the Guy Carleton, the Governor of Canada, and Col. Allen Maclean. The assault failed and put an end to any hopes of Canada rising in rebellion with the Americans.
However, the Plains of Abraham are more than a battle site. It's the premier park in Quebec City and everybody goes there during sunny days to catch some rays or do some roller blading. The park is also used for outdoor concerts and is the place to be on St.-Jean Baptiste day as the whole province seems to descend on the park.
Within the park you can find a monument to General Wolfe where he died. Montcalm's monument is located on Grand Allee west of the military menege. Ther are many other markers that mark the place of significant events during the battle of 1759. Also located in the park are two Martello towers, cylindrical stone defensive structures built between 1808 and 1812, when Québec prepared for an invasion from the United States.
Address: Near the Grande-Allee
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