As we know, Old Quebec is full of restaurants, terraces and historic monuments. But what really makes it so charming, is its timeless and totally exotic atmosphere. It's easy to get lost in the streets with their European charm and believe you're on another continent and in another era!
In fact, this fortified city dating from the 17th century is one of the UNESCO World Heritage's gems and one of the best preserved. It is the only city in North America to have preserved its ramparts. Old Quebec City is stunning with its European architecture and cobblestone streets that are over 400 years old.
Quebec City came into being when Samuel de Champlain built a group of buildings, the habitation, in the Lower Town of the city including a fort, a trading post and a dwelling in 1608 for the new colony of New France. The remains of the dwelling were discovered during archaeological digs from 1975 to 1978. The Lower Town was populated by merchants and artisans.
Later, the Upper Town was selected by Champlain to build Fort Saint-Louis. The ramparts were erected between 1608 and 1871, and its 4.6 km long walls were used as defense against the enemy. At that time, the area was occupied by the military, civil servants and members of the clergy. In this part of the old town, we find the ramparts, the citadel and houses from another century.
Monuments not to be missed
In addition to the imposing Château Frontenac, which overlooks the Dufferin Terrace, the Old City is home to treasures, such as the Old Port, the Petit-Champlain, the Plains of Abraham, the fortifications, Place Royale, the Quebec Citadel and Parliament Hill.
It is in a scenic setting that we discover, step by step, the interior of the fortifications of the Upper Town, the Lower Town and the Old Port. Some of the most picturesque streets include rue du Petit-Champlain, rue du Cul-de-sac, rue Sous-le-Fort, rue Saint-Paul, rue Saint-Louis and rue Saint-Jean.
The commercial street of Petit-Champlain is one of the only ones in North America to have preserved its old-fashioned cachet. This charming, narrow and colourful street, accessible by foot or via the funicular, is famous for its restaurants, boutiques and many local artisans. Also, during the summer season, several streets are transformed into pedestrian streets for the delight of residents and tourists alike.
Everything is there to entertain, relax, learn and enjoy its many restaurants.