Plains of Abraham
Over the centuries, the Plains of Abraham have been, and still are, the site of many memorable happenings.
Canada’s First National Historic Park
The Battlefields Park, which includes the Plains of Abraham, was created in 1908 to mark the 300th anniversary of the founding of Québec. A jewel in the park’s crown, the Joan of Arc Garden is a delight for the senses, with over 150 plant and flower varieties on dazzling display.
Citadelle and Fortified City
Québec City’s defensive system was built between 1608 and 1871 but evolved considerably over that same period. Today, the fortifications consist of 4 gates, 3 Martello towers, the Citadelle, and the ramparts encircling the Old Town over nearly 4.6 km. The Citadelle was erected between 1820 and 1850, and was the largest British fortress in North America at the time. A national historic site of Canada since 1980, it boasts a characteristic star shape, clearly distinguished from above.
Changing of the Guard
Unique in the province of Québec, the changing of the guard ceremony at the Citadelle is inspired by its counterpart version at London’s Buckingham Palace. A daily summer tradition since 1938, the ceremony features soldiers from the Royal 22e Régiment in their impressive red ceremonial dress and black bearskin hats. From June 24 to the first Monday of September.
The Famous Battle for Québec
The Plains of Abraham were the site of the Battle of Québec in 1759, which saw Montcalm’s French forces and Wolfe’s British troops face off in a fight for control of the town and the surrounding territory. The two armies clashed again several months later in the Battle of Sainte-Foy. Ultimately, the decisive British victory had a significant influence on Québec’s architecture, defensive works, and urban planning.
A Gathering Place
The Plains of Abraham are to Québec City as Central Park is to New York—an oasis of greenery in the heart of the city. The scene of many historic milestones over the centuries, the Plains today are the mainstage venue for headline cultural events, such as Festival d'été de Québec, one of Canada's premier musical events.
A Vibrant Cultural Scene
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the fine arts museum on the Plains of Abraham, is worth a visit as much for its stunning architecture as for the remarkable exhibits on display within its walls. Québec City is also home to a number of other museums with fascinating collections and exhibitions sure to appeal to art lovers and history buffs alike.
This 98-hectare park is a vast playground for outdoor enthusiasts, attracting cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and skaters in winter. During summer, you'll find people strolling for a breath of fresh air, and families in search of an idyllic picnic spot.