Français Español

You are in: Visitors


Rue Saint-Jean

For many, the imposing Porte Saint-Jean at Place D’Youville is the gateway to Old Québec and a lively zone celebrated for its mix of heritage, culture, and festive events.

Never a dull moment

A stroll along rue Saint-Jean is a must for anyone visiting Québec City. Starting from centrally located Place D’Youville, a string of boutiques, restaurants, churches, and historic buildings create a unique and eclectic ambiance. And when the street is closed to traffic in summer, pedestrians take over and a festive atmosphere reigns.

Some of Québec City's charm lies in the fact that it is as vibrant as any large city but small enough to make travel easy. – Heather Greenwood Davis, National Geographic website

A religious heritage unique in North America

The neighbourhood’s many churches bear witness to Québec City’s rich religious heritage. One such example is the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral, which serves the oldest Catholic parish in North America. Designated a national historic monument of Canada for its architectural value, the Basilica-Cathedral stands on the same site it has occupied since 1647. It houses the only Holy Door outside Europe. 

A hidden treasure

Founded in 1663, Séminaire de Québec is the oldest educational institution in Canada. The buildings housing the school were designated a national historic site of Canada in 1929. They are arranged around a central courtyard that visitors can access through a gate a few steps away from rue Saint-Jean. Much of the Séminaire de Québec is invisible from the street and it is well worth spending some time admiring it. It’s the kind of remarkable architectural gem that a local guide could make you discover.

An important crossroads

Religion, politics, and education converge at Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, home to City Hall and just steps from Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral-Basilica and the historic Séminaire de Québec. Quebec City’s City Hall was built on the former site of a Jesuit college and opened its doors in 1896. The building, which is designated a national historic site, is where city council meets. The grounds and public square beside City Hall are home to the Jura Clock, a gift from the Swiss canton of the same name for the city’s 400th anniversary. They are a popular gathering place and a venue for various annual events.

St-Jean Gate in Old Québec
Québec City Seminary and Musée de l'Amérique fracophone
Jura Clock
Summer Winter