Friday, July 8, 2011

Quebec City–Old Town

We arrived in Quebec on Friday, July 1st – Canada Day (like our 4th of July)…… So the first thing we did, after settling into our camp site at the Municipal campground in Beauport, was to head into Old Town (about 15 min away). Now I must say, the driving in downtown….and the parking…was a bit of a nightmare. But, once we found a parking lot, all was good.


We were headed into the older area known as ‘inside the walls’. You see, Quebec is the only ‘walled city’ north of Mexico. The walls were built in the mid 1700’s, started by the French to protect against British attack. The French were defeated by the British in 1759, in Quebec, and the British ended up finishing the walls, thinking that it would be good to protect themselves from the Americans who attacked Quebec, early in the Revolutionary war. The Quebecers like to point out that they won that battle.



Quebec is interesting in that the official language of Quebec province is French. Crossing into Quebec is like landing in France. Ninety-five percent of the population speaks French….though, in the city, people were more likely to also speak English (somewhat). The signs were all in French…and sometimes with no English translation - we found this particularly interesting with road signs! I wish that we had paid more attention to our high school French…..

We walked around the city that evening, then came back the next morning and joined a walking tour….Old Town, Quebec, has the wonderful hustle and bustle of a city……very colorful…..


It reminded us of the French Quarter in New Orleans……a lot of the same architecture….


And street artists…..


And street performers……


Quebec has a number of impressive statues…..the one on the right is Samuel Champlain, who discovered Quebec City in 1608.


Quebec also has a long history of settlement from the Catholic Missionaries. Three Ursuline Nuns arrived in 1639 to open a girls school. They have had a school on the same site ever since.


This is a picture of the Ursulines Chapel……so beautiful….the Ursulines had, at one time, been a cloistered order, so, to the right of the altar is a separate chapel area for the sisters and the students.


This is the hotel Frontenac…..a HUGE…elegant hotel opened in 1893.


Cities are so exciting……so full of energy! So much fun to learn their history..…or to just stroll about……. or sit and people watch………


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