Quebec City Historic Sites & Interpretive Centres
Since the 17th century, Artillery Park has played an important role in defending Québec. In 1959, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada recognized the national historic significance of the park and its military installations, which were an integral part of the city's defensive system.
The Québec Parliament Building, designed by architect Eugène-Étienne Taché and built between 1877 and 1886 on Québec's foremost national historic site. During the visit, experienced guides provide historical details and information on the Québec National Assembly. Guided tours are offered in English and French and, with an advance reservation, in Spanish and Italian. Groups of 10 persons or more should reserve in advance. Free admission.
Situated near the Saint-Louis Gate and the National Assembly, the Fortifications of Québec Interpretation Centre is located beneath the city's ramparts. The interpretation centre offers information about the history of Québec's defensive system, exhibits and guided tours. The fortifications include walls, ditches, gates, a restored 1815 powder magazine and an underground blockhouse.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the remains of old Quebec were rewarded this designation in 1985. It received the honor based on the city's preservation of several 17th century artifacts such as the city's ramparts, gates and other fortifications.
This National Historic Site commemorates the period in 1535-1536 when Jacques Cartier and his shipmates wintered near an Iroquoian village, as well as the 1625 establishment of the first residence of the Jesuit missionaries in Québec. The site features an exhibit on the three voyages of Jacques Cartier, an Amerindian longhouse, an interpretation kiosk on the Jesuits and a number of monuments, one of which represents the figures of Jacques Cartier and the great Iroquois chief Donnacona.
The site of many clashes for supremacy between the French and British Empires, the Plains of Abraham were the scene of the final battle in the 1759 conquest of New France by Britain. Both the French General Montcalm and the British General Wolfe were killed in the battle. Today, the Plains of Abraham form a large part of Battlefields Park.
Located next to the bassin Louise, the Old Port of Québec Interpretation Centre presents exhibitions related to the timber trade and shipbuilding, interpretive and animated activities, characters in period costumes, audio-visual presentations and a resource centre. A guided walking tour of the Old Port, which is the oldest in the country, is also offered.
Located on Cape Diamant, the Citadel, which is also called the Gibraltar of the Americas, is a national historic monument and an official residence of the Governor General. Guided tours of the Citadel include a visit to the Royal 22e Régiment Museum, which has a military collection spanning more than 300 years. During the summer, the Royal 22e Régiment performs traditional military ceremonies like the Changing of the Guard.
This authentic 19th century cottage and its historic gardens relate the life and times of the Stuart family, its occupants from 1918 to 1988. Guided tours with tea.
This cultural portal for Québec City's English-speaking communities is an impressive heritage site that once housed two prisons and a Scottish college. Relive the centre's history by touring the premises, which feature a charming Victorian library once frequented by the country's oldest learned society.
Built in 1683, this historic home belonged to Louis-Jolliet, a Quebec-born explorer. Today it houses the lower platform of the funicular.
This was the home of the Right Honourable Louis S. St. Laurent, Prime Minister of Canada from 1948 to 1957. Interpretation and historical animation offered in English and French. Open Wednesday to Sunday from late June to early September.
Maison François-Xavier Garneau
This mansion was the 19th century home of François-Xavier Garneau, historian and founder of the Institut Canadien de Québec. Garneau, the first person to write the History of Lower Canada (Québec), was designated a National Historic Person of Canada in 1937. The house features Victorian furnishings, rare books and gramophone music, as well as a display of Victorian christmas decorations and a collection of objects from the wreck of the Empress of Ireland.
Centre d'Interpretation de la Vie Urbaine de la Ville de Quebec
Located under the Hotel de Ville, this exhibition is an interactive audio tour in French, English and Spanish transporting visitors into the heart of the eight boroughs. This multimedia show is projected onto a giant screen, along with a virtual map of the city. The centre is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, daily from June 24th through Labour Day, closed Mondays for the rest of the year.
Atelier du patrimoine vivant
Located in the vaults of the 250-year old Maison Chevalier, the Atelier du patrimoine vivant (workshop of living heritage) features artisans and craftpeople who perpetuate, enrich and transmit their knowledge of traditional crafts, music and dance.
Located in the Place-Royale area, Maison Chevalier features an exhibition called Ambiances d'autrefois (the feeling of days gone by). Discover the magnificent French- and English-inspired Québec period interior designs of the 18th and 19th centuries. The Maison Chevalier lodges the Living heritage workshop where visitors can meet seasoned artisans and enjoy traditional music and dance. Open Saturdays and Sundays.
The Breakneck Steps (Escalier Casse-Cou)
The Breakneck Steps, or Escalier Casse-Cou in French, is a steep, 170-step staircase that was built in 1893 and connects Quebec City's Upper Town with Lower Town districts. The entrance to the staircase is located in Quartier Petit Champlain and there are shops and restaurants at various levels.
Located on one of New-France’s first concessions, domaine Maizerets is both a historic site and a vast landscape garden. This city-owned site offers cultural and educational exhibitions, tours of the floral gardens and the arboretum, concerts at the chau Maizerets and walking paths through the grounds. It is also the departure point of two major cycling trails, Corridor des Cheminots and Corridor du Littoral. In winter, skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding are offered with equipment rental and cloakroom.
Une Capitale sur la Colline
An illustrated exhibit on the history and architecture of Parliament Hill, presented in the tunnel linking Place Québec and the Marie-Guyart Building. Fifteen images with detailed descriptions. Open from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Centre D'Interpretation de Place-Royale
Educates about the history of Place-Royal through exhibits and multimedia shows. The centre is a component of the museum complex managed by the Musée de la Civilisation.
L'Ilot des Palais
The 18th-century vaults of the Îlot des Palais, one of the city's most important archaeological sites, are home to exhibitions, a multimedia show and an audio tour in French, English, Spanish and German, recounting the history of the inhabitants of New France, from its inception to the present day.