A Bit of History
Jacques Cartier was the first European to found a settlement here in 1541 but it was not until Samuel de Champlain in 1608 that a colony survived and flourished, the others before it defeated by weather, sickness and the native Americans. Champlain fortified the city against attack as France and England were continually at odds. His intact walls are the only city ramparts remaining north of Mexico, and have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In the Lower Town there is also a small church, the Eglise Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. It is in the spot where Champlain built his first home/fort in 1608. The church was built in 1688 and named after two early victories against the English but rebuilt twice after bombings by the English in the mid eighteenth century. It was surrounded by merchants originally, and today is no different, making it the hub of any visit.
Another place to visit – perhaps to have a meal or a post/pre cruise stay is the Chateau Frontenac perched on the hill over the Lower Town. It was built as a grand hotel in the great age of the railroad, and still maintains that reputation today. Outside the hotel is the Terasse Dufferin which is a walk along the top of the cliff affording marvellous views. The walkway will eventually lead to the Plains of Abraham, where the battle of the same name decided Quebec’s fate under an English victory.