Quebec's Fortifications, Quebec
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.
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.
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 ...