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Quebec's Fortifications Tips (3)

The Fortifications of Quebec City

Favorite thing Quebec City is the only remaining fortified city in North America. The wall stretches around the old city for 4.6 km. The walls were built through out the 17th and early 19th century and were laid down in various styles as according to the military architecture of the period. As artillery became more powerful it was required to build even stronger fortifications. At the heart of the fortifications is the Citadel. This structure was built by the British in the 19th century to fend of any American invasion. Today the walls have managed to serve as a defensive barrier against the modern world and helped perserve the old town. You can climb much of the foritifications were you can take in vistas of the Viex Quebec and the St. Lawrance River.

Paul2001's Profile Photo
Jul 04, 2012

Martello Towers

Favorite thing This made for an interesting little piece of research when it came to building this page. A Martello Tower is basically a mini-fortress used extensively on the Mediterranean shores as a means of combatting piracy and providing harbour defences. Around the turn of the 18th-19th centuries the British adopted the idea and built several on the UK coast as part of the defence against the French.

As part of the British refortification of Quebec four towers were built, between 1808 and 1812, overlooking the St Lawrence River in response to the then threat from America. The design of the towers is very simple. They are built with three storeys and the only entrance is on the upper level, thus allowing the defenders to pull up the ladder and render the doorway inaccesible. The platform at the top was designed to house an artillery piece whilst small gunports allowed for rifle fire.

A typical garrison would have consisted of 20 men and an officer who would spend tours of a month based in the tower with all the provisions necessary to be self-sufficient. An interesting design feature is that the building has very thick western-facing walls whilst those facing the city had much thinner stonework. The reason for this was that attacks were expected from the west but should the tower be captured the thinner eastern walls would be easy to destroy by the city's artillery.

By 1820 the Americans were no longer a threat without the towers getting a chance to prove themselves. Tower #3 was demolished in in 1905 whilst the others have been restored by the National Battlefield Commission. The Plains of Abraham towers, #1 and #2, are now used as exhibition spaces.

johngayton's Profile Photo
Oct 20, 2009

Look at the walls of the old...

Favorite thing Look at the walls of the old city -- this is a view looking down from Porte Dauphine. The difference between inside and outside the old walls is like a journey in time ...

shrimp56's Profile Photo
Jun 20, 2003
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"Quebec, mon amour!"
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"Quebec City, Quebec, Canada"
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"Quebec City - A Bit of Europe Close at Hand!"
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"Quebec, the charming French town"
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"Une Petite Tour de La Ville de Quebec...."
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Things To Do in Quebec

Things to do

Grande Allee

The Grande Allee is to Quebec what the Champs Elysees is to Paris. It's the "main drag", where things are happening. A broad avenue, it leads from the old walls to the outskirts of the city, past the...
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Things to do

Plains of Abraham (Battlefields Park)

This is the intepretation center for the battle that decided the fate of Quebec and French Canada in general. The visitors center includes a small museum and a multimedia presentation on the battle....
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Things to do

Quebec Experience

Quebec Experience - A 3D spectacle of 30 mn. From 10AM to 10PM (15 May to 15 October). Alternatively in English and in French. Mainly 3D photographes with an astonishing mobile face on the left side,...
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Things to do

Musee de l'Amerique Francaise

The Musée de l'Amérique francophonei s the oldest museum in all of Canada. It was founded in 1663 by Monseigneur de Laval. It is the dedicated to the history of French culture in North America. The...
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Things to do

Terrasse Dufferin

This walkway stretches along the cliff walls of the old city with great views of the lower old town and the Saint Lawrence river below. It's also the main tourist area of Quebec with street performers...
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Things to do

Rue du Tresor

Walking through the upper old town you must not overlook the side streets which often contain the surprise of your visit. In old Quebec one such street is Rue Du Tresor which is lined with artists'...
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Getting to Quebec


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