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Quebec City : oldest city in North-America
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2012-10-23 16:10:23 | Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Keywords: Historic, UNESCO
Founded in 1608, Quebec City was for a long time the entrance point into North-America through the majestic St-Lawrence river. Nowadays, it remains the only fortified city left on the continent, with its walls not only visible, but still part of the life and identity of the city. When you walk in the old city, you’re amongst 300 years old buildings

Quebec City’s location wasn’t chosen at random... it’s on a strategic spot where the majestic St-Lawrence river is very narrow and entrenched between two cliffs, making this a perfect defensive position.  Since it was founded during the era of perpetual wars between England and France, security of a new establishment was paramount. 

The city still exhibits proudly its massive fortress walls all around the historical district.  In the lower part of the city around the current ferry dock, you find the very first fortress and canons of the city, with houses dating back to early 18th century.    This now touristic neighbourhood is packed with souvenir shops and very famous restaurants.

If you go uphill, either by the streets or by the funicular train rallying the two parts of the old city, you’ll be welcomed by the magnificent Château Frontenac (Castle Frontenac).  This luxurious hotel was often referred to as being the most photographed hotel in the world.  That’s one of the jewel hotels built by the Canadian Pacific railroad company throughout the country to allow hosting the first tourists exploring our country.   Château’s history is so rich there are books written about it, but for now let’s just say that it’s the icon of the city.

Within the walls of the historical district, you’ll find mostly historical (and classified) buildings with small cobbled streets.    Most of the district is packed with nice little hotels and restaurants that will give you the opportunity to travel back in time for a few hours.

Every year in August, there’s a historic festival celebrating the New France era (16th and 17th century), concentrating on a given decade of the history.  For the occasion, visitors can learn more about the way the people lived in that chosen era, including how they dressed and what they ate.  In fact, the visitors are also invited to dress up according to the era (there are resources to learn about the clothing before hand, so they have time to adapt).  It’s a bit like a medieval fair... but aimed at a precise era of the history and re-enacted on the same location it took place, with the same buildings, etc. 

In 1985, the UNESCO recognized the importance of the historic old city by listing it on the World Heritage Sites.  That recognition is shown right next to the Château Frontenac and the statue of Champlain, founder of the city.

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Grand Pré... commemoration of the Acadian deportation


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