Historic District of Old Quebec Canada

Historic District of Old Quebec was founded by the French explorer Champlain in the early 17th century. It is the only North American city to have preserved its ramparts, together with the numerous bastions, gates and defensive works which still surround Old Québec. The Upper Town, built on the cliff, has remained the religious and administrative centre, with its churches, convents and other monuments like the Dauphine Redoubt, the Citadel and Château Frontenac. Together with the Lower Town and its ancient districts, it forms an urban ensemble which is one of the best examples of a fortified colonial city.

Historic District of Old Quebec
Continent: North America
Country: Canada
Category: Cultural
Criterion: (IV)(VI)
Date of Inscription: 1985

Former capital of New France

Quebec, the former capital of New France, illustrates one of the major stages in the European settlement of the cololonization of the Americas by Europeans. A coherent and well preserved urban ensemble, the Historic District of Old Québec is an exceptional example of a fortified colonial town and by far the most complete north of Mexico.

Historic District of Old Quebec Canada
Historic District of Old Quebec

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The divided city

Quebec, which was a fortified city, a centre of population, and a harbour where ships delivered manufactured goods from Europe and loaded the precious pelts from the Great North, had an urban organization very early on and a zoning system which stemmed from these various functions. The cliff obviously divided the city into two districts: the district of business, barter, and the navy located in the Lower City, and the administrative and religious centre which gradually took hold in the Upper City.

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