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Quebec City, Quebec

View of Quebec City with the Château Frontenac at upper left

Quebec City (French, Québec), a Canadian city, is the capital of Quebec. Quebec's Old Town (Vieux Québec), the only fortified city in North America whose walls still exist, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. The city has a population of 167,264 (1996), while the metropolitan area has a population of 671,889 (1996).

The common name in English is Quebec City, but the only name used by the Government of Canada is "Québec," with an accent.

The mayor of Quebec City is Jean-Paul L'Allier.


The city is perched on Cap Diamant, a large rock outcropping at the edge of the Saint Lawrence River, whose topography encouraged its defensive use. The thinness of the strait between Quebec City and Lévis on the opposite shore give the city and consequently the province its name (kebek is an Algonquian word for "narrow passage").


Quebec City's skyline is dominated by the massive Château Frontenac hotel, perched on top of Cap Diamant. The hotel is located on the Terrasse Dufferin, a walkway along the edge of the cliff, offering beautiful views of the Saint Lawrence.

Near the Château Frontenac is Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral, see of the Archbishop of Quebec. It is the first cathedral and first basilica to have been built in the New World, and is the primate church of Canada.

The Terrasse Dufferin leads toward the nearby Plains of Abraham, site of the battle in which the British took Quebec from France, and La Citadelle, a Canadian Forces installation and vice-regal residence. The National Assembly, Quebec's provincial legislature, is also near the Citadelle.

The Upper Town is linked by stairways and a funicular to the Lower Town, which includes such sites as the ancient Notre Dame de la Victoire church, the historical Petit Champlain district, the port, and the Musée de la Civilisation.

Laval University is located in the western end of the city. Founded by the Jesuits one year before Harvard University, Laval was the first university in North-America. The central campus of the Université du Québec is also located in Quebec City.

Quebec City is known for its Winter Carnival and for its Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations.

Tourist attractions located near Quebec City include Montmorency Falls and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.


Quebec City is served by Jean Lesage International Airport, which is located in the borough of Sainte-Foy. The city also has a port on the Saint Lawrence.

Two bridges, the Quebec Bridge and Pierre-Laporte Bridge, connect the city with the south shore of the Saint Lawrence, as does a ferry service. The city is served by VIA Rail (Gare du Palais), and is the eastern terminus of the railway's main Quebec City-Windsor corridor.


View of the fortifications of the
Citadelle with the National Assembly behind

Quebec City is the oldest extant European settlement in Canada. It was founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608 on the site of a First Nations settlement called Stadacona. It was to this settlement that the name Canada refers (kanata is an Iroquoian word meaning "village").

Quebec City was captured by the British in 1629 in a raid from the southern colonies, and held until 1632.

As mentioned above, this city was the site of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham during the Seven Years War, in which British troops under General James Wolfe defeated the French general Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and took the city. France later ceded New France to Britain.

During the American Revolution, the British garrison at Quebec City was assaulted by American troops in the Battle of Quebec. The defeat of the Americans put an end to their hopes that Canada would also rebel.

Quebec City was capital of Canada from 1859 to 1865, the last before Ottawa. The Quebec Conference on Canadian Confederation was held here.

much more about history needed!

In April 2001, Quebec City hosted the Summit of the Americas to discuss the Free Trade Area of the Americas; it also hosted massive anti-globalization demonstrations, provoked both by the summit and by the decision to wall off a large portion of the historic city with a four-metre-high chain-link fence for the duration. Police forces were widely accused of excessive use of force during the demonstrations.

On January 1, 2002, Quebec City and 12 other municipalities of the Communauté urbaine de Québec were merged into to the new Quebec City "megacity," which is divided into 8 boroughs:

BoroughFormer Cities
La CitéQuebec City
Les RivièresQuebec City, Vanier
Sainte-Foy--SillerySainte-Foy, Sillery
LimoilouQuebec City
La Haute-Saint-CharlesLac-Saint-Charles, Loretteville, Saint-Émile, Quebec City
LaurentienVal-Bélair, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Cap-Rouge, L'Ancienne-Lorette, Sainte-Foy

Residents of Quebec City are called Québécois. To avoid confusion with Québécois meaning an inhabitant of the province, the term Québécois de Québec is sometimes used (as opposed to Québécois du Québec - in French, the city is Québec and the province, le Québec.)

See also: Canada, Canadian provinces and territories, List of cities in Canada, List of communities in Quebec

External links

North: Shannon, Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, Stoneham-et-Tewksbury, Lac-Beauport
West: Saint-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, Pont-Rouge, Neuville Quebec City East: Sainte-Brigitte-de-Laval, Boischatel
South: Saint-Nicolas, Levis, Saint-Pierre-de-l'Ile-d'Orleans