A good workout on the Promenade des Gouverneurs
The west end of the boardwalk becomes the Promenade des Gouverneurs, with a warning sign of 310 steps edging along the cliffs next to the thick Citadel stone wall and leading towards the highest point in Quebec, Cap Diamant.
Shopping and dining in Le Petit Champlain
Le Petit Champlain is known as the oldest shopping district in North America. It is probably the most charming area of the city, but unfortunately, some visitors miss it altogether since they don't know about this little gem located at the foot of Cap Diamant, below the Terasse Dufferin. Some of the buildings in this area date back to the 17th century and have been beautifully restored, in keeping with their humble New France origins. They are now filled with specialty shops that are quite popular with locals and tourists alike since they are in general less tacky than some of the stores located up on rue St-Jean. You'll also find some of Quebec City's best restaurants in this area - just make sure to make a reservation as most restaurants fill up very fast, especially when cruise ships arrive.
A cruise on the St. Lawrence River
Nothing quite compares to seeing Chateau Frontenac sitting on top of Cap Diamant as you make your way up the beautiful St. Lawrence River. During summer, the AML group offers different types of cruises on board the M/V Louis Joliet, named after the Quebec City explorer who became the first man to map the Mississippi River. If you don't have much time, you can go on the "Stories of an explorer" cruise, a 90-minute cruise that will take you up to the Quebec City bridges and down to the Ile d'Orleans ($28 for adults, with 3 departures/day). If you've got more time, you can choose to go on a brunch, buffet or romantic dinner cruise. For a different nightlife experience, you can also go on a Friday night dancing cruise ($13, for adults only). Just check out the Website to see which option is best for you, and enjoy your time on board the M/V Louis Joliet!
Here is the history of Place Royal. This is a historically significant district in Quebec and today there are many great bistros and art galleries in the area. You will without a doubt discover this area :-)
Place Royale is the birthplace of French civilization in North America. Samuel de Champlain began construction of his fortified "abitation" at the foot of Cap Diamant, in 1608. This is the first permanent establishment in New France. Rich merchants settle here and lively business develops in the area. In 1686, a bust to the glory of Louis XIV is erected. Place du Marché becomes place Royale.
Wars between France and England reach out as far as New France. Québec occupation by the English occurs for the first time from 1629 to 1632. In 1690, the place Royale cannon play a decisive role in turning back Admiral Phipps' fleet. In 1759 however, French resistance is overwhelmed by cannon ball and fire bombs. The Conquest begins.
Under the British Regime, Place Royale, with its merchants, shipowners and shipbuilders continues its leading commercial role and remains the centre of business. By 1860, the situation is one of decline. Place Royale regresses into a mere, stagnating place du Marché. By 1950, the area has become poor and rundown.
Place Royale is one of the oldest settlements on the North American continent. The architecture and narrow streets bring back four centuries of history. Place Royale is bustling in summertime. This is where you will discover l'église Notre-Dame-des-Victoires (church), only a few steps away from boutiques, restaurants, maison Fornel with its exhibitions and the Place-Royale interpretation centre.
Quebec City was founded on July 3, 1608 by Samuel de Champlain. Champlain named his settlement after a local native word meaning “the river narrows here.” Champlain's settlement was located at the foot of Cap Diamant, the peninsula on which Old Quebec lies today. The French settlement was at first sparsely inhabited and served mostly as a base for fur trading and missionaries. In 1615, the first missionaries, the Recollets, arrived in the city. From 1629 to 1632, the city briefly passed into possession of the English. The Jesuits arrived in 1635 and the Ursulines and Augustines in 1639. In 1636, Charles Huault de Montmagny became the settlement’s governor, who presided over expansion of the settlement and construction of its first church, Notre Dame de la Paix (Our Lady of Peace). Surrounding the settlement were various parcels of farm land. By 1663, the year during which Quebec became the capital city of New France, the population of Quebec and its surrounding farm lands had reached 1,950 people. The British attempt to capture the city in 1690 during King William's War failed.
The Seven Years' War began in 1756. The British and French had co-existed in North America, but the threat of French expansion into the Ohio Valley caused the British to attempt to eradicate New France completely from the map. The French had constructed a wall around Quebec City (which exists to this day) in order to keep the British out. The British began to bombard the city on July 12, 1759, destroyed hundreds of homes. The Beauport coast was heavily fortified against British attack. Unfortunately for the French, the British chose to land at Anse-aux-Foulons which was less defended. In the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, the city was permanently lost by the French.