Our Quebec City Tour


We took a day out to explore Quebec City.  This included a walking tour of both the upper and lower towns, a river cruise with AML, and finally riding the ferry to Levis, and back to see the Quebec City skyline lit up at dusk.

We have really liked walking tours to explore the more historic places of these old cities.  The Quebec tour met our expectations.  Led by Paul, a Quebec native, we not only learned the history but also got a true feel of the place.

The tour begins in the upper town, just off the Terrasse Dufferin, the large boardwalk around the Chateau Fontenac Hotel, and below The Citadel.  The terrace provides commanding views of the Saint Lawrence River Quays.  The upper funicular station is here, providing a “stair free” access between the upper and lower towns.

The Chateau Frontenac one of Canada’s Grand Railway Hotels 

The first stop was the Samuel de Champlain monument, the explorer and founder of Quebec, and the birthplace of France in North America.


Farther along the Terrasse we found an example of the defenses used for the city.  These are mainly British cannon, except for several Russian cannon that were gifted to the city.

British Cannon with the Royal Monagram

Russian Cannon with double headed eagle
The Wolfe Montcalm Monument honors the two opposing commanders in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham leading to the surrender of Quebec to the British.  James Wolfe for the British and the Marquis de Montcalm for the French.  Both died of wounds suffered in the battle.

Further walking in the upper town reveals the drastic differences in the architecture and culture between the French and British settlers.

Built in 1675, the oldest structure in Quebec is now a restaurant.  The addition to the left shows the typical architecture of British houses of the time.  They are several stories high, and look more like town houses.  Usually with a single door and two windows at street level.

Typical of the French architecture were large three story houses with many windows, and gables at the roof.  The tall brick walls were supported and secured by steel rods that ran completely through the building, front to back.  This style dominated the upper town as it was first settled by the French within the walled city.

Quebec City has retained the original wall that protected the city atop the hill.  Ottawa and Montreal all have kept only portions of their wall city.  This section of the wall is being restored and will become a part of the park overlooking the city.

The plaza between City Hall and the Notre-Dame Basilica is under construction.  This is the oldest church in Canada and reinforces the idea that Canada was settled for two reasons.  Religion and commerce.  Today, Canada and especially Quebec considers itself a secular society.

Francois de Leval is considered the father of the Canadian church as the first Bishop of Canada.  Appointed in 1674, he soon established a Seminary that has now become the College de-Laval.

The old seminary sundial. “Dies Nostri Quasi Umbra”, Our Days Pass Like Shadows.

Francois de Laval Monument

 As we descended into the lower town we stopped for a nice view of the Chateau Frontenac.  Here you also overlook the primary shopping and dining area of the lower town.  This is primarily located along the Rue du Petite Champlain.  A walk along provides great street views and tempting treats.

Maple Taffy is maple syrup poured over crushed ice in the summer, and snow in the winter.  My step-grandfather was fromVermont.  I remember as a kid how, in the Colorado winter, he would boil up maple syrup and pour it over snow we collected from outside.

These murals painted on the sides of ancient buildings gave a glimpse into the  life of Old Quebec

Street performers everywhere

The entrance to the battery on the water front was designed for maximum protection.

This art installation is simply called Life Jackets.  Designed by Chinese artist and humanitarian Ai Wei Wei.  It is made up of over 2000 life jackets the artist collected on the Isle of Lesbos in Greece.  They were left by Syrian refugees fleeing their civil war, as a monument and reminder of refugees everywhere.  They hang from the Royal Battery built by the French in 1691.

The Notre-Dame Des Victories is a chapel built on the ruins of Champlain’s first outpost.  The chapel honors the first two failed attempts by the British to take Quebec from the French.  Control of Quebec meant to control the St. Lawrence and all trade between Europe and New France.

The Louis XIV Monument in the Palace de Victories

After our walking tour we boarded the Louis Jolliet for a cruise up the St. Lawrence River to view Montmorency Falls.

Montmorency Falls

Upon returning from one river trip, we boarded the Quebec to Levis ferry to get a different view of the skyline

The Levis Waterfront


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