Québec – a little European

Tuesday 18 to Thursday 20 August

It was a short drive from Montreal to Québec along a motorway festooned by wild flowers. A short coffee break beside a quaint lighthouse at Le Trois-Riviéres (Three Rivers) made the journey even more pleasant. 

Le Trois-Riviéres gets its name because the Saint-Maurice River has three mouths at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence River.

We had enjoyed the European feel on Montreal and Québec was even more so.

According to various government decrees, a city in Canada has one official spelling, so there is an accent on the ‘e’ to spell the city name Québec, but not the province name Quebec. An interesting bit of trivia.

Québec on the St Lawrence River was founded in 1608 by French explorer and diplomat Samuel de Champlain. The area was originally called Kébec (river narrows) by the First Nation Algonquian people. It is one of the oldest European cities in the North America.

The feeling of the city is certainly European with narrow cobble stoned streets and interesting architecture from many periods.

Perhaps the most stunning building is the Château Frontenac Hotel which was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway company and opened in 1893. The Châteauesque-styled building has 18 floors.

Old Québec’s tallest skyscraper Édifice Price (Price Building), was built in 1930 amid controversy about it fitting in to the style of surrounding buildings. The Price family went broke during the Great Depression and lost control of their business and the building.

The premier of Quebec now has his official residence on the top two floors of the building.

It was holiday season, so we spent a pleasant day in the gardens of the old citadel beside the Saint Lawrence River.

Now we were heading back to the USA, for a little North American history. New York is just a few days away.

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