The Quebec Fortifications NHCS - History and Facts | History Hit

The Quebec Fortifications NHCS

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

The Quebec Fortifications NHCS are the only surviving historic city defences in North America.

Peta Stamper

06 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About The Quebec Fortifications NHCS

Towering over the St Lawrence River, the Quebec Fortifications NHCS (National Historic Site of Canada) are the only surviving historic city defences in North America north of Mexico and St Augustine, Florida. The English fortified the existing walls after they took Quebec City from the French in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759.

Today, the defence system’s picturesque charm and great view points has made the military landmark into a popular tourist site in Canada.

The Quebec Fortifications NHCS history

The origins of the Quebec Fortifications can be traced back to 1608, when the city was founded by Samuel de Champlain as the capital of New France. However, most of what can be seen today of the Quebec Fortifications was built by the French in the first half of the 18th century.

In 1759, the British took Quebec and went on to expand these fortifications, including building the Quebec Citadel which was completed in 1831. Later that century, the Governor General of Canada Lord Dufferin played an important role in preserving the Quebec Fortifications.

The Quebec Fortifications NHCS today

Open each day between 9.30am and 4.30pm, today visitors can tour the remaining 4.6 kilometre Quebec Fortifications including curtain walls, turrets and gates in a 90 minute route. At the same time visitors get to view a range of the city’s related historic sites. Amongst the things to see are the Saint-Louis Gate, the Quebec Citadelle NHSC and the Quebec Garrison Club NHSC.

Getting to The Quebec Fortifications NHCS

The start place for your exploration of the fortifications can be found along the Rue d’Auteuil close to St John’s Gate in central Quebec. The 11, 22 and 992 bus routes stop just around the corner from the fortifications or for those driving, the site is just off the 175 running through the city. Alternately, the Gare du Palais train station with links to Ottawa is only an 8 minute walk away.

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