Day 2 was just beautiful weather wise. We crossed on the ferry this time with clear blue skies making the skyline of old Quebec City look spectacular. It was a day for walking so from the ferry we headed up to the higher level of the town.
After a stop for coffee at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac we explored the Dufferin Terrace. Just outside the Fairmont was the Samuel de Champlain monument which was inaugurated in 1898 in honour of the founder of Quebec. The Dufferin Terrace sits on the site of Fort Saint Louis built by Champlain in 1620 and where he died in 1635. On this same site his successor Montmagny built a castle which served as the residence of Old France governors for two centuries. The castle was destroyed by fire in 1834. Four years later Lord Durham, who was governor at the time, had a promenade built which has been enlarged and renovated several times over the years.
The terrace provides great views of the river. At the west end we took the Promenade of the Governors which runs alongside the walls of the Citadels and brings you up to the Plains of Abraham or Battlefield Park. The area was the site of a pivotal battle in the Seven Years War. The battle took place on 13 September 1759 between the British and the French on land that was originally owned by a farmer named Abraham Martin, hence the name. The battle involved less than 10,000 troops but proved to be the deciding battle in the conflict between France and Britain over the fate of New France and later influencing the creation of Canada.
Quebec had experienced a three month siege by the British. The battle only lasted 15 minutes but the British were successfully in capturing Quebec City and would continue to hold the fortress despite several further battles. Within four years most of France’s possession in eastern North America would be ceded to the British.
From the Plains of Abraham we made our way around the walls to the Parliament Building. The building houses the National assembly for Quebec which consists of 125 members. The building was built between 1877 and 1886. Although we did tour the building the outside is quite impressive added to by 26 bronze statues that pay tribute to the men and women who helped shape Quebec society. The gardens around the Parliament building were also impressive and Lynne was particularly struck by the huge plant pots.
From the Parliament building and after a bit of lunch we continued our walk around the ramparts finally ending up at Artillery Park. From the middle of the 18th century onward, the area installations were used as military quarters, which housed French and British soldiers, and as a final function it became a large industrial complex. The industrial life of the area began in 1879, when the Canadian government converted the barracks, which had been abandoned since the departure of the British troops in 1871, into a cartridge factory to manufacture ammunition for the Canadian Army The area continued to play an important role during both World Wars and until 1964 in the production of ammunition.