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Country Canada
Things To Do Chateau Frontenac, Citadelle, Jardin des Gouverneurs, Maison Kent, Place d'Armes, Basse Ville, St Lawrence River



Québec was founded by the French in 1608 at site of an abandoned Indian settlement. It became the capital for the French colony of New France. The town was important as a trading port, where the settlers could exchange goods for French imports. In 1759 Québec was captured by the British. (But to this day Québec remains proudly French-speaking). A few years later France relinquished New France to Britain. During the American War of Independence, an American force attacked the British garrison at Québec, but was repelled. In 1852 Québec became the capital of Canada, but in 1867 this honour passed to Ottawa (via Montreal).

As a visitor, the best way to see Québec is on foot. Start by walking along the famous Terrasse Dufferin (the 'boardwalk') enjoying the spectacular views of the old city and the St Lawrence seaway. Pass the Citadel, built by the British in the 18th century to strengthen the city's defences. Visit the Maison Kent, (built in 1648) where the French signed the agreement giving the town to the British. Finally take a break by having a coffee at the iconic Chateau Frontenac (now a hotel), a building with a truly grand presence.

Why in 100 Best?

Québec has a wonderful old world charm, summed up wonderfuly by Charles Dickens in 1842 - The impression made upon the visitor by this Gibraltar of America: its giddy heights; its citadel suspended, as it were, in the air; its picturesque steep streets and frowning gateways; and the splendid views which burst upon the eye at every turn: is at once unique and lasting.

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Listing contributed by Jules

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Best Cities - Quebec - Description, Pictures, Videos - 16 votes