Welcome to the only fortified city north of Mexico! Old Québec is famous for its European charm and well-preserved architectural treasures. The entire district, which is best explored on foot, is a living history book, and every garden, building and street corner is its own chapter. 

French and British Heritage

Explore the visible signs of the two major nations who built the city and region of Québec. Many buildings and remains testify their legacy and the founding of New France as well as the period when it came under British rule after many battles. You’ll see the influence of both nations in various important sites that are now attractions open to the public.

 

Artillery Park | Credit:  Parcs Canada
Credit: Parcs Canada

National Historic Sites of Canada

Explore the Fortifications of Québec, which span close to 4.6 kilometers around Old Québec. They're one of a kind this side of Mexico! Then wander over to Artillery Park, where characters in period costume will welcome you to defensive buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Take in the history of a site where decisions that affected all of North America were made at Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux, an archaeological crypt revealed lately beneath the Dufferin Terrace. 

And round off your trip by learning all about Jacques Cartier's first winter in Québec City in 1535 and the history of the Jesuits at Cartier-Brébeuf Park.

Saint-Louis Gate | Credit:  Claudel Huot
Credit: Claudel Huot

The Citadel and military tradition

Wander round the "Gibraltar of the Americas" on Cape Diamond!

A key part of the city's fortifications, the star-shaped Citadel showcases Québec's military history. The Royal 22e Régiment museum (housed in a 1750 powder magazine and a military prison dating back to 1842), the summer military ceremonies (changing of the guard, firing of the cannon), and the Governor General of Canada's official residence are all worth seeing.

Discover Québec City's military heritage!

Citadelle de Québec | Credit:  Olivier Lavigne-Ortiz
Credit: Olivier Lavigne-Ortiz
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Plains of Abraham

See where Canada was born! Take in the Odyssey multimedia exhibition and relive the city's history from the first days of New France and the battles between the French and English forces (Montcalm-Wolfe in 1759, Lévis-Murray in 1760) until the park's creation.

Battlefields Park is not only one of the world's finest city parks, it is also a lasting reminder of the site's storied past.

Thanks to state-of-the-art technologies, explore the history of the Québec City Martello towers at Martello Tower 1.

Plaines d'Abraham | Credit:  Guy Lessard
Credit: Guy Lessard

SAQ New France Festival

Early August is the time to be whisked back to the days of New France in the authentic surroundings of Old Québec. Costumed parades, street entertainment, shows, plays, historical reenactments, and public markets provide a window onto bygone days at this exciting historic festival!

New France Festival
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Îlot des Palais

L’Îlot des Palais is a brand new immersive exhibition is taking shape in the 18th century vaults of one of Québec’s most archeologically significant historic sites.

Through technology, you will be transported back in time to the once-bustling area that was home to Jean Talon’s brewery, the Intendant’s Palace, the King’s prisons and stores, and the Boswell brewery—with hi-tech ground mapping, projections, and 3D reconstructions that illuminate the history of the site from the 14th century to the present day 

Ilot des Palais | Credit:  Archéo-Québec
Credit: Archéo-Québec

Parliament Building

Get to know the men and women who have left their mark on Québec's political history. The imposing facade of the Parliament Building bears 26 bronze statues that pay them tribute.

Come inside and look around this impressive building, which was built between 1786 and 1886. The National Assembly Chamber, home to Québec's parliamentarians, the Legislative Council Room, the Speakers' Gallery, and the renowned restaurant Le Parlementaire are also worth a visit.

Hôtel du Parlement in Winter | Credit:  Guy Lessard
Credit: Guy Lessard

Religious Tourism

Churches are to Québec City what castles are to Europe: architectural marvels.

Québec is a real treat for heritage buffs. You'll be amazed by the crypt at the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral, the final resting place of four governors of New France lie; Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church, which was built in 1688 and is the oldest stone church in North America; the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine and the many other churches in the region that are over 100 years old!

Basilique cathédrale Notre-Dame de Québec

Île d'Orléans

Take a tour of the island to discover the birthplace of New France and many beautifully preserved historic buildings.

Enjoy stunning views of the St. Lawrence River at Parc maritime de Saint-Laurent and learn about the region's maritime history. Immerse yourself in New France's seigniorial system with guides in period costumes at Manoir Mauvide-Genest. Relive the settlers’ lifestyle in Maison Drouin, a typical house that has preserved its authenticity. Finally, trace the genealogical history of 300 families who settled on the island at the beginning of the colony while visiting Maison de nos Aïeux.

Île d'Orléans | Credit:  Brigitte Ostiguy
Credit: Brigitte Ostiguy

Native Tourism

Come meet a First Nations people that is proud of its origins and a witness to the history that shaped our country.

The Huron-Wendat nation, which allied with the French in the time of New France, shares its culture and traditions with modern-day visitors at Musée Huron-Wendat, the traditional Huron site, the Interpretation Centre of Parc de la Falaise et de la chute Kabir Kouba, the Wendat flower gardens, and its craft stores.

Native tourism (Norma Joseph) | Credit:  Jean-Louis Regis
Credit: Jean-Louis Regis

Routes and Trails

Several routes and trails will show you that the heritage of New France is still flourishing.

Admire heritage homes, mills, and churches, and discover the know-how of our artisans at various economuseums along the New France Route, one of the oldest thoroughfares in all of North America. Or explore Chemin du Roy in the Portneuf region. Built in 1737, it was the first highway between Québec City and Montréal.

Chemin du Roy | Credit:  Yves Tessier
Credit: Yves Tessier
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