Rue de Tresor is a very short narrow lane between Rue de Baude and Place d’Armes in front of the Chateau Frntenac. It is one of the oldest streets in the city and has been used for display of art by the local artists since the ’60s. We always come through here when in the City and the hubbub of noise from tourists and artists alike gives a vibrancy to the local art scene.
Long narrow alley
full of local creations.
Tourists stop, buy.
Place d’Armes is a lovely green park space near the Chateau Frontenac. It was once used as a military parade ground and a place for public speeches. It is just steps away from where Samuel de Champlain established his Fort Saint-Louis on Cap Diamant. Champlain’s wife Hélene Boulé also lived there for four years.
The monument in the center of the park is the Monument de la Foi and celebrates the 300th anniversary of the arrival of Catholic missionaries in 1615.
Not far away, church bells still chime
sending tingles all down my spine.
Harking back to an older time,
when hobnail boots marched in a line,
on cold stone cobbles, thick with grime,
and orators would speak on crime.
In this green square now so sublime,
where young children laugh, run and climb.
There is much more to see in Quebec City besides the Old Port. In order to see some new territory, we walked up the gradual incline of the streets below the ramparts until we were on top of them, beside the cannons on Rue des Remparts (previous post).
We soon found ourselves by the old post office building designed by architect Pierre Gauvreau and completed in 1873. The building was renamed in 1984 to commemorate Louis St. Laurent, Prime Minister of Canada from 1949-1958. (Source:Wikipedia)
We made our way by Cathedrale-Basilique Notre Dame (feature photo). The cathedral has been on this site since 1647 and destroyed twice by fire. Destroyed in 1759 during the siege of Quebec, it was rebuilt with completion in 1843. In 1922, the church was again gutted by fire by a Canadian faction of the Ku Klux Klan. (SOurce:Wikipedia)
Before ducking into the Rue du Tresor (artists’ alley), we paused for a view of the Price Building, an 18 floor (originally 16) sky scraper built in 1930-31 at a cost of $1,000,000 C. It is one of the oldest sky-scrapers in Canada and the tallest building in historical Quebec. Renovations, including the additional 2 floors were completed in 2005. The building houses municipal and corporate offices and the 16th and 17th floors are the residence of the Premier of Quebec. (Source:Wikipedia)
We ducked down Rue du Tresor into Place d’Armes (separate posts) before taking a look back past the Cathedral and down Cote de la Fabrique for a bit of window shopping.
Our walk up out of the Old Port took us up onto the ramparts along Rue Port Dauphin.
The ramparts are the only surviving fortified city walls in America north of Mexico.
The original fortifications were constructed by the French between 1620-65 and played a large part in the defense of the city from British attack. In 1759, the British laid siege to the city from positions on the South shore (present day Levis) and after 3 months of near continuous cannon fire, the city was surrendered. In the process, the Royal Battery in the old port below the ramparts was destroyed.
There are 4 surviving gates in the old wall. The nearest one here is Porte Prescott, erected by the British in 1797 and named after Robert Prescott, a distinguished military general who became Governor-in-chief and commander of British forces from 1796-1807.
The fortifications were designated a Canadian National Historic site in 1948 and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.
Levis is a city on the South shore of the Saint Lawrence River, directly across from Quebec City. The current iteration was created in 2002 by the amalgamation of 10 cities, including Levis, which was founded in 1861. Population as of 2017 was 144,147. A ferry links Old Quebec with Old Levis.
There is evidence of human habitation on Point Levy (Levis) dating back 10,000 years. First Nations peoples favoured the area long before French settlement, because of its ideal location where the Saint Lawrence and Chaudiere Rivers join.
In 1759, during the Seven Years War, General James Wolfe and the British forces used the area to lay siege to Quebec City. The siege was successful and the city fell after 3 month of relentless cannon fire on the city and Plains of Abraham.
We have taken the ferry to Levis on previous trips, but, did not venture over on this day.
Vieux Port as Quebec City’s Old Port is known was once the main center for merchants transporting supplies to the new town. It was once one of the five biggest ports in the world and today is a very popular cruise ship destination. Today, it is one of the main tourist attractions in Quebec City and offers outstanding views of the buildings, the St. Lawrence River and nearby Laurentian Mountains. (Source:Wikipedia)
There are plenty of shops to suit every budget and enough restaurants and cafes to tempt every palette. The day we visited was a bit grey and blustery, as we ventured down the wide wooden steps (we were too cheap to pay for the funicular on such a fine day).
Crowds were not large, but were steadily increasing, as there were a couple of cruise ships in port.
Between the gusts of wind and showers, a harpist and guitar player took turns entertaining the shoppers.
And there was a photo opportunity at every turn.
Brightly coloured historical stone buildings.
A brightly coloured canopy of umbrellas.
Whimsical art pieces and Halloween scenes.
The whole area really brightened up an otherwise dull day.
Like the Opera House is to Sydney, the Fairmont Chateau Fontenac is an iconic symbol of Quebec City.
Built in the Chateauesque style, the hotel opened in 1893, is 79.9m (262 feet) tall and contains 18 floors. It was one of the first Grand Railway Hotels completed in Canada. Situated on the promontory of Quebec, 54m (177 feet) above the old port, it is in a position of prominence and can be seen from all over the old city.
The building was expanded 3 times, the latest being in 1983. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1981. (Source:Wikipedia)
It is very photogenic day or night.