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Area History

Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America recently celebrating its 400th anniversary. There are few locations that can enjoy this type of claim and this is certainly the time to make the trip to this historic city. Let’s take a look at what made Quebec City one of the most enduring places in Canada.

The city was founded by Samuel de Champlain who picked its somewhat odd name. It comes from an Indian word that meant “place where the river becomes narrow.” Early settlers moved in quickly and the city was off to a wonderful start. Although there were a few issues early one with the Native Americans, they were soon solved and although there were uprisings from time to time, they were not enough to scare off new visitors. Many ended up staying after experiencing the rare beauty of this incredible city.

Thanks to its age, Quebec City is home to some of the most historic monuments in North America. Of particular interest are the numerous churches that are built in gothic styles. It is difficult to find these kinds of buildings outside of Europe and they truly represent how much influence Europeans had in shaping this city from its origins. What started out as a humble fur trading hub turned into a city rich in history. There are two main parts of the city, Old Quebec and New Quebec. Old Quebec was named a UNESCO site in 1985 and the city has done a terrific job of maintaining their historical sites. The numerous churches were founded by Recollettes, Jesuits, and many other orders that traveled to start missions in the area. The city continued its steady growth through the 1700’s, and remained under French control until 1759. There was an attempt made by the United States to take over the city in 1775, but this ultimately failed. Following this skirmish, the official charter of the city declared that it was the capital of Lower Canada.

To this day it is still considered a “French” city, even though Canada is still ruled by Britain. After the British took over, Quebec City was named the capital of the province of Quebec and development continued. There are so many historical sites in Quebec city that travelers should allow at least two weeks for their stay to take in all of the main sites. In addition to these sites, there are also numerous activities throughout the year that draw in tourists. Although winter sports are popular, there are numerous things to see and do during the summer months, making this a great place to have a summer vacation. You could spend months here and still not be able to get everything in. This is a city that many travelers return to time and time again and it remains both an enduring monument to the past and a hopeful sign of the future.