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Tradition, history, and identity: the soul of Quebec City lies in the mixture of these three pillars. The cobblestone streets of the Old Town remind you that this city is one of North America’s oldest settlements. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Old Town’s bistros, European squares, and antique châteaux have a distinctly Franco-American, old-world charm. The flag of Quebec flies high across Haut and Basse Ville, a reminder that, as the nucleus of French-Canadian identity, the city also seethes with cultural pride.
No place is more iconic in Quebec City than Old Town. The only walled city north of Mexico, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was founded in 1608 by French settlers. Since then, the city has developed into two uniquely enchanting areas: the Haute-Ville, whose winding roads overlook the St Lawrence River, and the Basse-Ville, where quaint bistros and hidden bars give way to the harbour.
Rising high above the Basse-Ville, Château Frontenac is perhaps Quebec’s most iconic landmark. This 262-foot, this 18-floor castle now serves as a Fairmont Hotel, one of the first grand railway guesthouses in North America. No need to check into the five-star hotel to appreciate its marvel, though—a variety of tours are provided every day.
The natural spectacle that are the Montmorency Falls lies only 15 minutes away from the Old Town. Unbeknownst to many, these falls are actually 99 feet higher than Niagara Falls. Zipline across the river if you’re feeling adventurous, or enjoy the magic of the promontory that overlooks these wondrous falls through one of the many viewing platforms.
The pivotal Battle of Quebec, where the French were forced to cede Canada to Great Britain, took place on the plains of the Battlefields Park in 1759. Today, this historical landmark is a breezy clifftop park where plaques and cannons mix with manicured gardens to create a bucolic ambience.
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