Quebec has been founded at this location not by mistake but strategically to optimize the guard of the territory from enemies. Geographically, the water and the terrain denivelation helped create a natural protective barrier. Today, Quebec is the only fortified city north of Mexico to have evidence with still standing walls. The defense culture is still alive and continues in Quebec City.
Below are some authentic proof of work performed to protect the city:
In the desire to limit access to the city, a wall with gates “doors” was built. The Porte St-Louis (St-Lewis Door) was one of the first three gates under the French regime. At one point, under the British control, more gates were erected but with time and evolution, including transportation, most of them were demolished.
When at the Porte St-Louis, you are at an easy walking distance of the Plains of Abraham, the Citadelle which are other witness of the work to protect the city.
Plains of Abraham
In September 1759, a pivotal 30 minutes battle took place on this site which concluded by a win battle by the British over France which ceased the control of Quebec City to the British. Later on they also conquer Canada.
The plains is now a wide nature area that groups a different elements both historical and actual. While it can be quiet at most times, big outdoor events are also held in this park.
While trolling on the plains, I appreciated the simple Joan of Arc Garden. Look for the equestrian moment and you will find the neat Joan of Arc Garden.
Along the street facing the plains you can see a few historical houses including the National Battlefields Commission House.
In addition, on the grounds of the plains, you can see the Tour Martello 2 and a museum as well.
When on the park it is easy to access the Citadelle and the Manège militaire.
The Citadelle is an official residence for the Governor General of Canada but is, first and foremost, an active military installation for the Canadian Armed Forces – 22nd Regiment. Unfortunately, but for obvious reasons, you just can’t walk around at your own pace. You must take part to a guided tour to visit the interior walls. If the Governor General is not in town, it is possible to visit the Governor’s house as well. There is also a changing of a guard at 10AM.
Home to the oldest French-speaking battalion in North America, the Voltigeurs of Quebec Armory, the building was inaugurated in 1888. Regrettably at the 120 years of history point, a destructive fire left only the façade standing and some collective items were saved. 10 years later and massive investment in reconstruction, the building is reopen. The façade remains impressive.