Quebec City – away from the convention

It is amazing, when I think about it, that the city we now know as Québec celebrates its 400th anniversary in 2008. That is no older than some suburbs in Europe, granted, but in the North American, post-European conquest/arrival context it’s old!

  • Having grown up in the extreme southwestern corner of the province high school history, that I recall most readily, dealt with the immigration of French and English settlers, some of the local battles in the War of 1812, such as the Battle of Châteauguay (which basically saved Montréal from American invaders), and – to a lesser extent than the topic merited – relations with regional First Nations communities, e.g. Oka.
  • A much more frequent visitor to Montréal, and its Vieux-Montréal district, there is no doubt that Québec City’s historic area is a great deal larger and, collectively, better preserved – which would explain its designation as a UNESCO heritage site.

    I offer these pictures, taken on the cloudy Saturday afternoon of the convention, when I slipped away from the Centre des Congrès and immersed myself in history.

  • A plaque on this church reads “Founding of New France – Here on this site Samuel de Champlain founded Québec in 1608.”

  • This is the St. Louis Gate, one of the main entrances to the walled city, which was just a short walk from the convention centre and delegates’ hotels.

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