Plains of Abraham (Battlefields Park), Quebec

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  • Plains of Abraham Visitor's Center
    Plains of Abraham Visitor's Center
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    The Plains of Abraham
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    The Plains of Abraham
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  • jamiesno's Profile Photo

    Plains of Abraham

    by jamiesno Updated Feb 5, 2005

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    Sunset over the Plains of Abraham

    The Plains of Abraham is one of the most prestigious city parks in the world. Battlefields Park got its popular name from Abraham Martin, one of the first laymen to settle on the heights of Québec. Abraham Martin never owned or even live on the land which today bears his name, but used it instead to graze his cattle. The name "Plains of Abraham" therefore originates from a popular designation. It is the people themselves who referred to the plains by that name.

    Personally I felt the Plains of Abraham were amazing offering the best views of the St. Lawrence River. It was also the site for some Carnaval activities, I a can only imagine how nice it must be in the summer and fall months to stroll throughout this park!!

    This history and battles that ensued in this area are also interesting to learn about obviously but be sure to soak in the views!

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    Joan of Arc Gardens

    by Bwana_Brown Written Aug 22, 2004

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    Joan of Arc Memorial Garden - Early Morning

    The Plains of Abraham along the cliff overlooking the St. Lawrence River are a great spot to stoll around. The landscaping and views are both amazing in this, Canada's equivalent of Central Park in New York.

    Only a few steps away from the Loews hotel, along the inland edge of the Plains, I came across this pretty flower garden. The Joan of Arc Gardens, featuring a statue of her on a horse, is in tribute to all those who fell on both the English and French sides during the colonial wars for control of North America.

    The flowers and shrubs were in great form when I was there, very enjoyable!

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    Joan of Arc Garden

    by jamiesno Written Feb 5, 2005

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    Joan of Arc Garden Monument

    Created in 1938 by landscape architect Louis Perron, the garden has its own special style: rectangular in shape and built slightly below ground level, it combines the French classical style with the British-style beds. Visitors have an opportunity to admire over 150 species of annuals, bulbs and, especially, perennials. From April to October, visitors are enchanted by the multitude of colours and scents.

    There wasn't much for me to enjoy in January month but once again not far from the monument where some great views!

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    Discovery Pavilion and “Odyssey Display”

    by tiabunna Updated May 2, 2008

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    Discovery Pavilion
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    If you continue up the rue Ste-Louis through the gate in the walls and up the Grande Allée Est, on your left you will find the Discovery Pavilion of the Plains of Abraham. The Discovery Pavilion, apparently “inspired by the French castles of the Loire” is the official entrance to and information office for the Battlefields Park. As might be expected, it contains a museum and souvenir shop, but the part that grabbed my imagination was the “Odyssey Display”.

    You head upstairs to the Odyssey Display, which consists of three multimedia theatrettes giving the broad history of Canada: you then progress from one to the next for the whole show. Presentations begin every ten minutes, so should you miss one the delay is minimal. Each theatrette has multilingual headphones, so settle back, set the language (my first headphones were in Japanese when I arrived) and enjoy the shows.

    It begins with the Indians and the creation of New France, then moves to the battles of Québec and the British period, finishing with the formation of Canada (a period now longer than either of the preceding two). Though “popular’ in style the show is factual, not without humour, and calculated to hold the attention of most audiences. I thought it truly excellent as a presentation of Canadian history and found myself wishing that our National Museum in Australia had used the opportunity to present something of a similar standard!

    My photos show the exterior of the building and some of the Odyssey presentation, this part set with a mannequin of a television newsreader in a newsroom - giving the story in a presentation style I’m sure would be familiar to most!

    Open daily throughout the year from 1000, closing at 1700 from 4 September until 23 June and open until 1730 the balance of the year.

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    Quebec City's most historic urban park

    by Jefie Updated Jul 13, 2006

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    A pleasant afternoon on the Plains of Abraham
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    The Plains of Abraham, overlooking the St. Lawrence River, are one of the most prestigious city parks in the world, and certainly the most important historical park in the country. In 1759, it became the scene of the British Conquest, when the army led by General Wolfe defeated the French army led by General Montcalm in an epic battle that sealed the fate of Canada. Both men were mortally wounded in the battle (Wolfe died on the field while Montcalm died the following night) and many other soldiers lost their life, and in 1908, the Battlefields Park was created to underline the historical importance of this place.

    Today, the Plains are still filled with history. As you walk along the winding paths you will come across several historical markers, describing the battle of the Plains of Abraham. As an urban park, it could be described as Quebec City's Hyde Park or Central Park - with its 108 hectares, there's plenty of room for locals and visitors to carry on their favorite outdoor activities! It's also the site of numerous events year-round, such as the St-Jean-Baptiste and Canada Day festivities, the summer music festival, Halloween and of course the winter carnival! Guided tours are also offered, so check out the Web site to find out more about all there is to do on the Plains!

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  • Greggor58's Profile Photo

    I've Arrived...The Plains of Abraham...

    by Greggor58 Updated May 13, 2009

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    Rue Cap-aux Diamants,Quebec City,Quebec,Canada.
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    My entrance to the Plains of Abraham was via the Promenade des Governeurs...a walkway that starts in fact on Le Terrace Dufferin...and all along the way as the walkway climbs in elevation I was provided with great scenic views of the St Lawrence River and the city of Levis on the South shore of the river..

    I was treated to a huge expanse of green space splashed with the color of Fall in Eastern Canada...The Plains are a part of Parc des Champs-de-Bataille....or Battlefields Park...as its known in English..

    The park's area is about 108 hectares (267 acres) is Canada's first national urban park.

    Where I arrived is in fact Cap aux Diamants...a cliff top expanse of land that overlooks the site of the main battle ground for Quebec City in 1759...today it is a part of a large urban park beautifully landscaped and dotted with interesting diversions .You can see an intact structure of British Military engineering called a Martello Tower..or a beautiful garden called the Jardin Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc Garden)..Le Musee des Beux Arts is found within the boundaries of the park also.
    There is also one on-going archaeological dig that I discovered close to the cliffs...

    On a Fall or Spring or Summer day its well worth the time to get her...Plan to spend some time here when you're visiting Quebec City.It must be frightfully cold here on a Winter day though...

    Maybe a Trivial Pursuit answer....the well known Canadian Anthem "Oh Canada" was sung here on the Plains for the first time ever on St John Baptiste Day....June 24th in 1880...see the third photo..

    The second photo is a small monument to Abraham Martin...who pastured his livestock here on these lands that were originally owned by the Ursulines...the lands were eventually referred to as the Plains of Abraham...

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    Plains of Abraham (National Battlefields Park)

    by Dabs Updated Feb 25, 2007

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    General Wolfe :-)
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    After visiting the Citadel in the morning, we didn't have a lot of time to spend at the Plains of Abraham so when we walked into the Visitors Center and they were announcing that a bus tour was leaving shortly, we decided that would probably be the most efficient way to visit. The cost was $4CAD per person, you can also get a day pass that covers the bus tour, Martello Tower and the Odyssey.

    Our guide was dressed to play the part of Abraham and was very amusing. The minibus tour takes you to some of the important sites within Battlefields National Park, the Martello Towers and the Parc Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc).

    Although the official name is National Battlefields Park, it is better known as the Plains of Abraham, named after Abraham Martin who apparently didn't own or live on the land here but used it to graze his cattle. The battle that took place here on September 13, 1759 was between the British and the French during the Seven Years War (known as the French and Indian War in the US), It lasted less than an hour, both the British General Wolfe and the French General Montcalm were mortally wounded during the battle.

    The Battle was thought to be a pivotal point in the War, the French surrendered to the British in 1760 and the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1763 to end the war and transfer possession of New France to Britain.

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    Plains of Abraham

    by GentleSpirit Written Oct 20, 2012

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    The Plains of Abraham is presently located as part of the Battlefields Park, famous for the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. This occurred on September 13, 1759 between the British Army and Navy and the French Army. The battle itself only lasted about 15 minutes and both of the commanding generals died there. The French ended up capitulating in 1760 and with the Treaty of Paris (1763) ceded Canada and the eastern half of French Louisiana to the British

    Supposedly the Plains of Abraham were named after the man that owned the lands, Abraham Martin.

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    Plains of Abraham

    by Canadienne Updated Apr 20, 2003

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    Jessica & Lara at the Plains of Abraham

    Le Parc des Champs de bataille, mieux connu sous le nom de Plaines d'Abraham, etait lieu d'affrontement des Empires britannique et francais en quete de suprematie.

    (I'll try to come back and add accents to that. . .it definitely loses something without them.)

    On September 13, 1759, the British defeated the French army on this very field, just outside the walls of Quebec ~ the battle established permanent British rule in Canada.

    There are a couple of monuments and a fountain memorializing the battle, but otherwise the grounds are now a lengthy park overlooking the St. Lawrence River. I would imagine it's a very popular place in good weather ~ the views are incredible.

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    Historically Poignant, Contemporarily Celebratory

    by johngayton Written Oct 20, 2009

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    Useful Signage
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    The Plains of Abraham lie to the west of the old city overlooking the St Lawrence River. It was here that the two decisive Canadian battles between the French and British were fought, during the Seven Years War, battles which determined the fate of Canada as a country.

    The September 13th, 1759, Battle of the Plains of Abraham saw the British forces victorious and Quebec City surrendering to avoid further seige. The battle itself was quite short as the well-trained regular troops of the British Army quickly routed the undisciplined French ranks (only half of whom were regulars). The French suffered the majority of casualities although both sides also lost their generals, the British Wolfe dying on the battlefield whilst his wounded counterpart Montcalm died the following day.

    The following April the French attempted to regain the city during what is known as The Battle of St-Foy. This time the French were victors on the battlefield and the British retreated behind the city's newly-strengthened defences. The French laid seige to Quebec but were hampered by a lack of munitions. Both sides were relying on reinforcements, a race which the British won. The French called off their siege and retreated westwards eventually to Montreal where later that year they capitulated and New France became a British territory.

    During the next 150 years the Plains were developed as a military stronghold (the building of the Citadel and the Martello Towers being two of the main features) but also the land became popular as a recreational area. Following the 1908 Parliamentary Act which created the National Battlefields Commission the Plains of Abraham were incorporated into Quebec's Battlefield Park which is now the city's most popular public space.

    As well as acting as a monument to those who lost their lives the park also provides sport and leisure opportunities and hosts year-round regular events such as concerts.

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    Plains of Abraham

    by Tom_Fields Written Oct 15, 2009

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    Monument to General Wolfe
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    Canada's future was decided right here in these fields. During the French and Indian War, in 1759, British General Wolfe was tasked with taking the fortified city of Quebec.

    Seeing the city's heavily fortified defenses, he realized that a direct frontal assault would fail. So he came up with a novel plan. In the dead of night, he and his men boarded boats and rowed silently up the St Lawrence River to the cliffs west of the city. Then they debarked, scaled the cliffs, and attacked the city from the west.

    The French general Montcalm came out to confront his foes. In the ensuing battle, on the Plains of Abraham, the British won and secured control of Quebec. Both Wolfe and Montcalm were mortally wounded in the fight. Wolfe knew that he'd won. Montcalm comforted himself with the thought that he'd rather die than see Quebec under the British flag.

    The French tried to regain control of Quebec, defeating them at the Battle of Sainte-Foy. But they gave up their North American possessions at the Treaty of Paris that ended the war.

    Today, one can walk this old battlefield, which is now a park. If not for the historical markers, one could easily forget the carnage that took place here.

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    Plains of Abraham

    by Blatherwick Updated Dec 12, 2005

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    Plains of Abraham
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    This may be the most famous park in Canada. This is where the English, led by General James Wolfe, defeated the French, led by General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, Marquis of Montcalm in 1759. Having cleared the last remaining French obstacle to the British navy on the St. Lawrence River, the battle of Québec opened up all of New France to British control.

    The Plains of Abraham was the site of another battle during the American Revolution. The Battle of Quebec was an attempt on December 31, 1775 by American revolutionaries to capture the Canadian city of Quebec and enlist Canadian support for the Revolutionary War. Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery were the two primary American commanders in the assault against the Guy Carleton, the Governor of Canada, and Col. Allen Maclean. The assault failed and put an end to any hopes of Canada rising in rebellion with the Americans.

    However, the Plains of Abraham are more than a battle site. It's the premier park in Quebec City and everybody goes there during sunny days to catch some rays or do some roller blading. The park is also used for outdoor concerts and is the place to be on St.-Jean Baptiste day as the whole province seems to descend on the park.

    Within the park you can find a monument to General Wolfe where he died. Montcalm's monument is located on Grand Allee west of the military menege. Ther are many other markers that mark the place of significant events during the battle of 1759. Also located in the park are two Martello towers, cylindrical stone defensive structures built between 1808 and 1812, when Québec prepared for an invasion from the United States.

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    Take the Capital by Storm

    by Blatherwick Updated Oct 15, 2005

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    Take the Capital by Storm - Citadel
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    Take the Capital by storm is a two day weekend event that takes place periodically during some summers in Quebec. More than 110 000 people wonder down to the Plains of Abraham to watch more than 1 500 reenactors recreate the American invasion of Quebec during their War of Independence. Actors dressed in accurately reproduced uniforms carry muskets and push black powdered canons. The show is narrated by speakers in English and French so that spectators will be aware of what is actually happening. Prior to the reenactment, people are able to visit accurately reproduced tents and see how the soldiers lived. Food was cooked over wood fires, people live by the light of lanterns, and women take care of the sick.

    The reason for the battle was that the Americans were hoping to prevent the British troops from being replenished using the St. Lawrence River. In 1775, the American revolutionaries launched a military campaign against Canada, whose ultimate goal was to take Québec. It is likely that had the Americans succeeded that the British would have been kicked off the continent completely and Canada would have never existed.

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    Battlefield Park

    by btex Updated Sep 12, 2002

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    Battlefield Park/Parc des Champs de Bataille
    This is the area where battles took place between the British and the French during the 1700s. The park isn't just about history though. It's a good place for leisure activities as well.

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    Battlefield Park

    by mattreider Written Jan 2, 2008

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    Skiier passes an English defensive tower

    Now, I don't own snowshoes or cross-country skiis, but if I did, I would have used them here. Winter sports are the best type of Quebec sports, and the Plains of Abraham (where the decisive English/French battle took place for control of Canada) is hope to cannonade, defensive towers, parks, and sledding.

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