Quebec summer of 1956
Oldest city in Canada. Sits majestically on its rock atop Cape Diamond.
Dubbed “City of Remembrance” for being so full of historic places. Narrow streets and steep cobbled hills and quaint building give an Old World atmosphere. (written by Kay)
Quebec General (Typed, cut out and glued to note cards, we assume from an itinerary or travel guide)
(Pronounced “Kweebeck or Kebek” by English speaking persons) is the capital of the Province de Quebec.
Quebec is often referred to as “City with a personality” because of its ethnic and general aspect. The city was founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain and from its foundation was colonized by the French up to 1759 when General Wolfe defeated General Montcalm and the British took over. The French people were allowed to continue their ways of living and held on to their past. Therefore the French culture survived along with the English culture.
Strolling along the streets of Quebec, you come across living evidence of the French “coutumes”. The language is spoken by over 90% of the population. The advertisements and signs in store windows are mostly written in French. The Government conducts its debates mostly in French, although French and English can be used in the chambers. There are schools for both elements of the population. The spirit Old France is kept alive here in Quebec and the ties with France are somewhat of a cultural sort.
Origins of New France
The territory on which now stands the City of Quebec, cradle of New France and Gibraltar of America, was first sighted in 1535 by Jacques Cartier, discovered of Canada. On the St. Charles river, near the Lairet stream (known under the Indian name of Cabir Coubat), at 400 miles from the sea, the illustrious sailor and his men established their Winter quarters on board their small “caravelles”: La Grande Hermine, La Petite Hermine and L’Emerillon. They were solemnly welcomed by Donnacona, Agohanna or King of Stadacone, on the very place where later on was built the capital city of French Canada.
First visited in 1603 and founded in 1608 by Samuel Champlain, a nobleman of Brouage (Saintonge), Quebec has been, during the French domination, the seat of the central power and the heart of New France. Within its walls were written the most brilliant pages of our History. Each stone of its old buildings recalls to the heart of New France. Within its walls were written the most brilliant pages of our History. Each stone of its old buildings recalls to the citizens the gallant deeds of its founders, the devotion of its first pastors and missionaries, the virtue and faithfulness of the humble settles who had come from France to create a New World.
Quebec and Its History
1535- Arrival of Jacques Cartier at the Indian village of Stadacone, now Quebec.
1608- Quebec founded by Samuel de Champlain, a French nobleman sent out by Henry the fourth, King of France.
1617- Louis Hebert establishes himself with his family – See monument along City Hall – He was the first pioneer of agriculture.
1629- Champlain surrenders the City to the Kirke brothers.
1635- Champlain dies on Christmas Day. He has been called “Pere de la Nouvelle-France” (Father of New-France).
1659- Arrival of Bishop Laval.
1690- Phipp’s attack on Quebec is repulsed by Governor Frontenac
1698- Death of the count of Frontenac. (Chateau Frontenac.) Origin of the name.
1711- Admiral Walker comes up the St. Lawrence River to besiege Quebec. Walker’s fleet is dispersed by a storm down the St. Lawrence (at Egg Island). The little church in lower town was named “Our Lady of Victories”
1759- September 13th, the battle of the Plains of Abraham is fought. The French General, le Marquis de Montcalm and General Wolfe, commander of the English forces meet in a decisive battle which gives the British half of the continent and brings death to both generals.
1763- By the treaty of Paris, New France is formally ceded to England.
1775- General Montgomery is killed while fighting with his forces attacking Quebec.
1852- Laval University is founded.
The “River Cruise”
Time approx.: 2 hours
Extra cruise on Sunday at 1:30 P.M.
Relaxing and refreshing – like an appetizer before dinner – is that down river cruise to Montmorency Falls, then up stream to watch Quebec come into view as did Jacques Cartier, in 1535 – Indian Villages have disappeared, but the modern discoverer thrills at the sight of Le Chateau Frontenac. Dufferin terrace and Cape Diamond crowned by the Citadel whose fortifications occupy forty acres of historical land. – Quebec still keeps the charm that Cartier found. – The Plains of Abraham where the fate of North America was settled. Spencer Wood and one of the modern engineering marvels, the Quebec Bridge, are picturesque spots that you shall not miss.
Chateau Frontenac (Written by Kay onto note cards)
Copper-domed tower glinting in the rays of the sun. Owned and operated by Canadian Pacific Railway. In the French Renaissance or “chateau” style of architecture. First built in 1892 – 3 extensions have been added, along with modern improvements.
In 1647, stone Chateau Saint Louis was erected and reconstructed in 1694. Above the main arch in the courtyard of the present Chateau is relic from old chateau a stone bearing Cross of The Order of The Knights of Malta – partially defaced.
The complete absence of symmetry of streets adds charm. Sous- le – Cap (under the cape) celebrated as the narrowest street in North America – cars can barely get through. Was fashionable street where wealthy merchants and notables resided.
Part of lower town is built in reclaimed land, since waters of St. Lawrence lapped a considerable portion of what is now valuable commercial property. 9 out of 10 streets are names after Saints.
Saint- Pierre is the center of financial activities. Oldest church, Notre Dame Des Victories built in 1688 destroyed during siege of Quebec in 1759 and rebuilt with the same walls. Restored twice later.
May climb stairs or take elevators to boardwalk.
This boardwalk was built as a terrace 450 x 60 in 1838 by Lord Durham. Governor Dufferin later extended it to its present dimensions.
In front of the Chateau Frontenac
From the Dufferin Terrace, the visitors embrace a panoramic view of the majestic St. Lawrence River. On the left side, the Island of Orleans, once known as the “Islands of Bacchus”, for its natural vines, now appears in all its glory with its gardens of flowers, its splendid trees, its picturesque roadways, leading to exquisite cottages where hundreds of citizens have established their Summer residence…Across the giant river in front of Quebec, the cities of Levis, Lauzon, St. Romuald, leading to the Quebec Bridge on the South Shore. At the right, the old Citadel and fortification walls, Sillery, Spencerwood, the Vice-Royal Manor of the Lieutenant Governor, with its wonderful gardens. And further down, on the mainland, facing the Island of Orleans, the old “Chemin du Roi” passing through the most ancient French towns and villages; Maizerets, Beauport, the Kent-House and Montmorency Falls. L’Ange-Gardien, Chateau-Richer, Ste. Anne de Beaupre, the sacred pilgrimage shrine of America and St. Joachim, partly owned by the Quebec Seminary, where may be found some of the oldest feudal Domaine of the French Regime. Not far from Quebec, tourists should also visit the town of Lorette, where they will be most interested in seeing the Huron village.
Caleche in Place d’Armes
Who has not heard of the “caliche”, a two-wheel bouncing carriage, or the old fashioned buggies? Those are a unique feature in Quebec and may be hired by the hour or on a flat basis. They are stationed on Place d’Armes. For those who wish to use their own car and see the city by themselves, specially prepared itineraries are available free of charge from the Tourist Bureau on d’Auteuil Street.
(Kay wrote) Caliches are a throwback to those imported from France in 1741.
Place d’Armes- spot where Huron Indians, pursued by Iroquois, found shelter under guns of the fort erected around the chateau Saint- Louis
This was a spot for military parades and public meetings under French regime.
In the center is a fountain surmounted by “Faith Monument”- dedicated in 1916 to recullets (order of monks) who taught, preached, and ministered to the poor and sick.
May be termed “City of Monuments” for Ancient Capital is dotted with them- each commemorating come epochal event.
Do you even remember what you had for dinner last night? Thanks to Cath's detailed journals, we know she accidentally had sloth soup for dinner 53 years ago while visiting the Amazon. Read through these interesting chronicles for memorable anecdotes from Cath's travels.