Canada, the second largest country in the world, is 28 times the size of Germany with an area of ​​almost ten million square kilometers. Statistically, fewer than four people live on one square kilometer. On the other hand, on the north bank of the Saint Lawrence River, in the “Ville de Québec”, people live far less isolated. More than 550.000 people live in the six arrondissements of the capital of the province of the same name. In the metropolitan region of Québec there are more than 830.000 inhabitants (as of 2021).

Quebec - history in a nutshell

The Frenchman Samuel de Champlain founded a trading post on the Saint Lawrence River on behalf of the French King Henry IV in 1608, from which the city of Québec later developed. The location of the trading post had been carefully chosen at a narrow part of the river. In addition, the Colline de Québec high plateau, which towers almost 100 meters above the river, proved advantageous for defending against attacks.

Québec - Narrow point of the Saint Lawrence River

Québec - Narrow point of the Saint Lawrence River

The region was a French colony in the 17th and 18th centuries. Québec was repeatedly exposed to British attacks. Finally, in 1759, British troops defeated the French defenders on the Plaines d'Abraham. In the "Peace of Paris" (1763), France ceded the entire province of Canada, including the city of Québec, to Great Britain. The French era in North America ended with the British victory. And yet: Québec is the only province in Canada where French is the official language.

Quebec - Les Plaines d'Abraham

Québec – Upper and Lower Town

Quebec consists of an upper and lower city. Samuel de Champlain is credited with erecting the lower city "Vieux Québec". In the district are the Vieux Port and the Place Royal. Urban development emanated from both. The Place Royal is named after the Sun King, Louis XIV, whose statue has dominated the square since 1686.

Quebec - Place Royal

The representative buildings of Québec are primarily located in the upper town, known as the "Haute Ville". The magnificent façade of the luxury hotel Château Frontenac, which dominates the upper town, and the Dufferin terrace below are unmissable. From here, paths lead to the lower town and to the Plaines d'Abraham.

Québec - Terrasse Dufferin with the Chateau Frontenac

Quebec - the old post office building

Other buildings worth seeing are the Notre Dame de Québec Cathedral Basilica, the Hôtel du Parlement du Québec and the star-shaped Citadelle de Québec. The latter was part of the fortress wall. Québec is the only city in North America that is still surrounded by city walls with bastions, gates and defenses. This explains why Quebec's Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The funicular "Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec" connects the lower and upper towns in a short distance.

Quebec - Hôtel du Parlement du Quebec
Citadelle de Quebec
Quebec - Porte Saint Jean


Québec – administrative center of the province of the same name

Québec has a variety of tasks. The city is not only the administrative center of the province. It is also the seat of the Archdiocese of Quebec, the oldest Roman Catholic diocese north of Mexico. The city is also the home of the Anglican Church of Canada Diocese of Quebec. In addition, the city is an important university location and center of cultural life.

Notre Dame de Quebec Cathedral

Notre Dame de Quebec Cathedral

Quebec City - Holy Trinity Cathedral 

Quebec - Economy and Transportation

Economic heavyweights in Québec are the timber industry, power generation and agriculture. Tourism is a key economic factor. This industry alone secures more than 140.000 jobs in the province. Thanks to good international transport links, the city is a regular venue for congresses and trade fairs. Québec has a remarkable train station and the metropolitan area is well organized with the Écolobus and Métrobus systems.

Quebec for cruise ship guests

Québec is a remarkably clean, well-kept and European-style city. Cruise ships regularly visit the city during the season. According to information available from Port de Québec, 116 cruise ship visits are expected this year. The port administration expects around 168.000 passengers.

The ships use three berths

  • Pointe a Carcy – Wharfs 21 and 22
  • Estuary - Wharf 30 on the Saint Charles River
  • Levis – Wharf 81 (Quai Paquet)

Quebec - Pointe a Carcy

Quebec - Wharf 30 on the Saint Charles River 

The guests whose ships dock overnight at the two main terminals 21 and 22 below Château Frontenac are to be envied. The city on the Saint Lawrence River offers many attractions to ship guests. We report on what there is to see and do in Quebec at Quebec City Sights and Quebec Custom Tours.

Update October 2023