Citadelle de Quebec, Quebec
The military strongholds of Quebec are not only an historic reference and one more similarity with Europe, but also a remarkable sightseeing point over the river.
Well kept and maintained, concrete and lawns join in a wide and pleasant ensemble, and you may visit the military museum.
A fort was first constructed here in 1701 by the French but the current structure is largely built by the British in anticipation of an American invasion during the Revolutionary War. The citadel is still used by the Canadian military but is open for guided tours and offers magnificent views over the Old City and the Saint Lawrence river.
From June to September you can see the traditional changing of the Guard ceremony.
The Citadelle is still an active military station. Since 1928 it has been manned by the Royal 22e Regiment, the only Francophone infantry unit in the Canadian Armed Forces.
The ceremony takes place at 10 am daily in full dress uniform. The sentinels have the traditional red tunic and bearskin hat that you would see at the same ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Actually this ceremony occurs only in England and Canada, with the only places being London, Windsor, Ottawa and Quebec City.
Ceremony lasts for 35 minutes and features the traditional changing of the guard. There is the standard precision marching, inspection by the officers, handover and marching music by the Regimental Band. Batisse the goat, the Regimental Mascot is also present:)
Quebec City's superb Citadelle is one of the must-see attractions. It is the home of Canada's only French speaking regiment, famed 22nd Regiment commonly known as the Van Doos. Of note during the time of my visit two battalions from this regiment were fighting in Afghanistan.
The citidelle anchors the historic walls that surround Quebec City's Old town. It sits on a bluff 100m above the St Lawrence River. What you see today is not the first fortification on the site but rather the result of construction ordered personally by the Duke of Wellington (who had never actually visited Quebec) after the War of 1812 when fears of another American invasion was a serious concern. The fort was designed in a low star shape fashion that was popular at the time.
To visit the fort you must take a guided mandatory half-hourly tour. These are very well conducted and full of information that the this traveller hitherto did not know. The fort is the largest fortification still occupied by troops in North America. It covers about 40 acres in size and consists of 25 buildings. Some of the buildings are used to display weaponry and artefacts from the the 22nd's past. The Governor General of Canada still has an official residence in on the houses within the Citidelle, one of the tidbits of information I did not know. Throughout the fortress grounds are an impressive variety of cannons from different periods in military history.
During the summer at 10am once of Quebec City's most colourful events takes place, that being the Changing of Guard. At 7pm the Beating of the Retreat takes place which has very similar pageantry. I attended this latter event which was included on the same day ticket that I used to enter the fort. Seeing either or both of these events is highly recommended.
It cost $10.00 to for adults to visit the Citidelle.
The Citadel type of defence system was designed by a Frenchman. This fort in Quebec City was built by the British military and has been occupied by the military ever since. Currently it is the home of the 22nd Regiment of the Royal Canadian Regiment, or "Van Doos" which comes from the French for 22, "Vingt-Deux".
According to the official website "La Citadelle comprises two buildings constructed under the French regime, the only real gate into Old Quebec City, the official residence of the Royal 22e Régiment, the Royal 22e Régiment Museum and the residence of the Governor General of Canada, among others."
They have a changing of the guard ceremony in the summer though we were visiting too early in the season for it. We visited on an overcast misty day in May but were lucky to get a time when there were only a handful of people wanting the walking tour. Our guide, Charles, was very knowledgable as he led us around the buildings, explaining the history of the fort. the tours are said to take an hour but ours lasted longer as there were only 8 of us and it was not a busy time of year so Charles took his time and allowed us to linger in the museums longer.
There are two museums we were able to visit, one a more general museum to do with the fort and Quebec itself and the other is the 22nd Regiment museum. There's a regimental chapel as well but it's not open to the public though is still used. The views over the St. Lawrence, over the city dominated by the old Chateau Frontenac hotel and over the parks built on the battlegrounds of the Plains of Abraham were shrouded in mist and fog for us but the views would be spectacular on a sunny day.
The more general museum is in a 300 year old magazine battery with its thick stone walls protecting against a blast. There are dioramas and memorabilia covering several hundred years of Quebec history.
The 22nd Regimental museum is housed in a building that used to be a jail. You can see one cell still set up. In the other cells are various exhibits about the history of the 22nd. There are archives, uniforms, memorabilia, medals (including one whole room lined with cases of medals). A current exhibition in one of the rooms shows items taken from the 21st century Afghanistan tour of duty. There is also a WWI Victoria Cross, the highest military honour given. With the 100th anniversary of the regiment due in 2014, there is a major upgrading and updating of the museum planned.
There's a small gift shop and very basic cafe in the entrance building. Photography without a flash is permitted in the museums.
Open all year round, it costs 10$ per adult with discounts for children, seniors and has group rates. There's some parking available and they do English and French tours which are included in the cost of admission as well. Not all of the grounds is mobility accessible.
There's a travelogue here as well with additional photos
The Citadel is a massive fortification that sits above Quebec City, defending the land approaches to the city. Construction was begun in 1820 and completed in 1850. The four-pointed fortress covers 37 acres. During the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold led an assault on Quebec City at the Plains of Abraham, at this location where the Citadel was later built.
The Citadel, also known as Gibraltar of America, has great guided tours, a scenic overlook of the city, and a museum. It is also still the home of the Royal 22nd Regiment which fought in both World Wars. In WWII, the 22nd participated in battles across Italy and in the Holland Campaign. The 22nd is known as the Vandoos, a bad English translation of Vingt-Deux, French for 22.
Tours cost C$8 for adults and C$4.50 for children.
This is an active military installation next to the Plains of Abraham.It was built in the British Colonial period to defend the city against an invasion by the Americans. You have to see it as part of an hourly tour and includes the Royal 22nd Regiment Museum. Interesting and great for views of the city.
The Citadelle is the home station of the Royal 22e Régiment of the Canadian Forces since 1920. In addition to its use as a military installation, it has been also an official residence of the Governor General of Canada since 1872, who by tradition resides there for several weeks out of the year. (The Governor General's primary official residence is Rideau Hall in Ottawa.) This citadel is part of the fortifications of Quebec City, the only city with extant city walls in North America.
The first protective wall (enceinte) was built in the 17th century under Louis de Buade, sieur de Frontenac. A plan of fortifications was developed by the French military engineer Jacques Levasseur de Néré (1662–1723) and approved by Louis XIV's commissary general of fortifications Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban in 1701. Considerable work took place on the fortifications after the fall of Louisbourg in 1745 under the direction of military engineer Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry.
The existing star-shaped fortifications were built by the United Kingdom between 1820 and 1831 under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Elias Walker Durnford of the Royal Engineers, and incorporated a section of the French "enceinte" of 1745. Their purpose was to secure the strategic heights of Cape Diamond against the Americans and to serve as a refuge for the British garrison in the event of attack or rebellion. The preservation of much of the fortifications and defences of Quebec is due to the intervention of Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, Governor General of Canada 1872–1878, who also established the Citadelle as a vice-regal residence.
The Quebec Conferences of 1943 and 1944, in which Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Lyon Mackenzie King discussed strategy for World War II, were held at the Citadelle of Quebec.
We enjoyed touring the grounds and watching the changing of the guard. The Museum gift shop was filled with products viewing La Citadelle, the Guards with their scarlet uniforms made by the Économusée des Dames de soie, tin soldiers of the Royal 22e Régiment, goat soaps from La savonnerie of Ile d’Orléans, pictures of la Citadelle by photograph Eugen Kedl, aprons, children plays, blank notes, clothes, etc.
If one place epitomizes the phrase "je me souviens", then it's the Citadel. It's home to the illustrious Royal 22nd Regiment, which has seen action in both world wars, the Korean War, and Afghanistan. This is still a working army garrison, so visitors are allowed to go in only with guided tour groups. Tours will include the Changing of the Guard, a look around the post, a visit to the museum, and of course a trip to the gift shop.
The museum, housed in the former gunpowder magazine, is worth the price of admission. It contains artifacts and exhibits from the entire history of this regiment. Note the Regimental Goat. This mascot plays a prominent role in the Changing of the Guard.
La Citadelle is an active military garrison, a national historical site and also known as the Gibraltar of America. This citadel is part of the fortifications of Quebec City, the only city with extant city walls in North America.
It is the best place to begin a trip into the military past and present of Québec City. There is also a small shop where you can buy a lot of stuff related to the Canadian Military.
Outdoor parking is free
After they had trouble taking over Quebec City from the French, the English were determined to hold it. In 1820 they build this low-slung citadelle on the coast called the "Gibralter of America," over a period of 30 years.
Let's be honest, it's closed during the winter, so I didn't see much. In summer, there is a changing of the guard ceremony.
It doesn't dominate the skyline like some other more famous castles in Europe. But it adds to the effect of the city walls, it is still a functional military establishment, and it looks good in snow.
Plan on spending at least 2 hours here if you want to see the Changing of the Guard (only in the summer) and go on the guided tour afterwards, the Changing of the Guard lasted at least 45 minutes and the guided tour lasts about an hour. Since it's an active military installation, you must go on a guided tour.
The star shaped Citadel sits just outside the city walls. The first fort was built on this sight in 1783 to protect the British from the threat of invasion by the Americans, after the war of 1812 the fortress wall were built to connect with the city walls. The star shape is a French design, the points of the star allowing for easy fire on approaching enemies.
There are three things about the Citadel that made me chuckle. First, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, that you encounter that works at the Citadel warns you that the Changing of the Guard will not take place if it rains and that you will not get your money back if it's canceled. Aren't these guys soldiers? Shouldn't they be able to handle getting wet? Would they call off a battle because of inclement weather? And what about the poor guys on duty, do they have to stay for another 24 hours because their replacements are afraid to get their beaver hats all wet?
Second, the mascot is a goat. I think that's funny. I suppose they found that beavers were hard to train and chickens......OK, I'm not going there ;-)
Third, the Citadel was finished in 1832, after all the attacks on the city had finished up. Good things as the soldiers, and probably the goat too, are afraid to get wet.
*The Changing of the guard takes place daily at 10 am
*We've already covered that they will not, under any circumstances, hold it in the rain or refund your money if it doesn't take place.
*The ceremony takes around 45 minutes at which time no one is guarding the fort. Note to foreign invaders, this is when you should attack.
*45 minutes is about 35 minutes longer than the ceremony held anyone's interest, including the goat who I'm pretty sure I saw yawn.
*The goat's name is Batisse X, the original goat, Batisse I, was a gift from Queen Victoria (was she not fond of Canada?)
Also known as "The Gibraltar of America", the Citadelle is part of the fortications surrounding the old city of Quebec. Built under British rules under the threat of American attacks, its construction began in 1820 and was completed after about 30 years. Nowadays, it is still an active military garrison, home to the Royal 22nd Regiment, Canada's first French regiment and one of its most highly distinguished.
It is possible to go on a one-hour guided tour of the Citadelle to learn more about its history, construction and purpose. During summer, it is also possible to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony (held every morning at 10:00 am) as well as the Ceremony of the Retreat (check the Web site for hours). The Citadelle is also home to the Gouvernor General's second official residence. The Gouvernor General is the representative of the Queen in Canada, which is part of the Commonwealth. Visitors can visit the residence at the Citadelle free of charge.
This is an old Fortification, some buildings from the late 1600’s. It’s still in working condition. The guide gives you a lot of history of the Fort, of the buildings and what they are used for or were used for and why. The fort was built because they were wary of an attack by USA.
It’s in the shape of a star, with 4 points, the fifth being the riverfront. The star made it easier to defend. It’s at the highest point of Quebec. Canons, guns, bullets, swords all dot the buildings, as do many other items from the last 300+ years of it’s existence.
You have to walk with a tour guide, available in French and English. Starts and ends near the gift shop, where you buy your ticket. $8 for adults.
You’ll spend 60-90 minutes here.