Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. It’s name comes from Kébec, an Algonquin word meaning “where the river narrows”. It was founded in 1608 and is one of the oldest cities in North America. Quebec is a city with a thriving culture and vibrant urban life.

Rue St. Louis Photograph by Susan Seubert Restaurants and shops on the rue St. Louis bring pedestrians out in the evening. The street is in a bustling section of Quebec City, Canada's oldest established city.

Rue St. Louis. Restaurants and shops on the rue St. Louis bring pedestrians out in the evening. The street is in a bustling section of Quebec City, Canada’s oldest established city. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

St. Lawrence River. The St. Lawrence River cuts between Quebec City (seen here) and the city of Lévis. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

St. Lawrence River. The St. Lawrence River cuts between Quebec City (seen here) and the city of Lévis. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

St. John's Gate. Striking ramparts, bastions, and gates mark the entrance to the UNESCO World Heritage site Vieux-Quebec (Old City) and have allowed it to be preserved for modern-day tourists to enjoy. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

St. John’s Gate. Striking ramparts, bastions, and gates mark the entrance to the UNESCO World Heritage site Vieux-Quebec (Old City) and have allowed it to be preserved for modern-day tourists to enjoy. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. A castle with a unique perch on a hill overlooking Lower Town, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac hotel is a popular choice to capture both the feel and history of the area. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. A castle with a unique perch on a hill overlooking Lower Town, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac hotel is a popular choice to capture both the feel and history of the area. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Trompe L'Oeil. Trompe l'oeil paintings create an otherworldly scene under the freeway along Boulevard Charest Est in Quebec City. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Trompe L’Oeil. Trompe l’oeil paintings create an otherworldly scene under the freeway along Boulevard Charest Est in Quebec City. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Ramparts Of Quebec. Located in Canada, the Ramparts of Quebec City are the only remaining fortified city walls in North America north of Mexico. The English began fortifying the existing walls, after they took Quebec City from the French in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759.  The wall surrounds most of Old Quebec, which was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1985. The fortifications were designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1948.  There are 4 "ports" to the city that are still standing - Porte St. Jean: dates back to at least 1694, was demolished in 1791 because of its poor condition and rebuilt. This gate lasted until 1865 when it was demolished and rebuilt again. The present gate was built in 1939.  Porte St. Louis: dates back to at least 1694 was demolished in 1791 because of its poor condition and rebuilt. This gate lasted until 1823 when it was replaced. It was eventually removed altogether in 1871 before being replaced by the gate we see now in 1880 by Lord Dufferin.  Porte Prescott: erected in 1797 by, and named after Robert Prescott. It was demolished in 1871. The current gate was built in 1983.  Porte Kent: erected in 1879 was named after Queen Victoria's father The Duke of Kent. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Ramparts Of Quebec. For more than 400 years stone walls and cobblestone streets have welcomed travelers to one of Canada’s oldest cities and the only remaining fortified North American city north of Mexico. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Marché du Vieux-Port. Marché du Vieux-Port in Quebec City has seasonal stalls selling everything from homemade cheese to flowers and fresh fish. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Marché du Vieux-Port. Marché du Vieux-Port in Quebec City has seasonal stalls selling everything from homemade cheese to flowers and fresh fish. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Les Musées de la Civilisation. The Musée de la civilisation à Québec (Museum of Civilization) is a museum located in Quebec City. It is situated in the historic Old Québec area near the Saint Lawrence River. It was designed by architect Moshe Safdie, and opened its doors to the public on 19 December 1988. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Les Musées de la Civilisation. The Musée de la civilisation à Québec (Museum of Civilization) is a museum located in Quebec City. It is situated in the historic Old Québec area near the Saint Lawrence River. It was designed by architect Moshe Safdie, and opened its doors to the public on 19 December 1988. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Samuel de Champlain Monument. A monument on Terrasse Dufferin pays tribute to French explorer Samuel de Champlain, who founded Quebec City on July 3, 1608. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Samuel de Champlain Monument. A monument on Terrasse Dufferin pays tribute to French explorer Samuel de Champlain, who founded Quebec City on July 3, 1608. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Notre-Dame de Quebec. Gold dazzles the eye inside the Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral, or Our Lady of Quebec Church. First built in 1647, the church is a National Historic Site of Canada. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Notre-Dame de Quebec. Gold dazzles the eye inside the Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral, or Our Lady of Quebec Church. First built in 1647, the church is a National Historic Site of Canada. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

J.A. Moisan. Billed as the oldest grocery store in North America, J.A. Moisan in the Quartier St. Jean Baptiste also has an eat-in area and a four-room bed-and-breakfast above. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

J.A. Moisan. Billed as the oldest grocery store in North America, J.A. Moisan in the Quartier St. Jean Baptiste also has an eat-in area and a four-room bed-and-breakfast above. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

The Parliament Building (French: Hôtel du Parlement) is an eight-floor building and home to the Parliament of Quebec.  The building was designed by architect Eugène-Étienne Taché and was built from 1877 to 1886. With the frontal tower, the building stands at 171 feet in height. The building is located in Place Assemblée National, atop Parliament Hill in the district of Vieux-Québec–Cap-Blanc–colline Parlementaire, just outside the walls of Old Quebec.  The Tourny Fountain is a fountain located in Quebec roundabout in the center of the Honoré-Mercier Avenue, opposite the Parliament Building . It was inaugurated at this location on July 3, 2007 for the celebrations surrounding the 400th  anniversary of Quebec City in 2008. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

The Parliament Building (French: Hôtel du Parlement) is an eight-floor building and home to the Parliament of Quebec. The building was designed by architect Eugène-Étienne Taché and was built from 1877 to 1886. With the frontal tower, the building stands at 171 feet in height. The building is located in Place Assemblée National, atop Parliament Hill in the district of Vieux-Québec–Cap-Blanc–colline Parlementaire, just outside the walls of Old Quebec. The Tourny Fountain is a fountain located in Quebec roundabout in the center of the Honoré-Mercier Avenue, opposite the Parliament Building . It was inaugurated at this location on July 3, 2007 for the celebrations surrounding the 400th anniversary of Quebec City in 2008. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Raclette. Le Petit Coin Latin, a cafe, bar and restaurant located just inside the walls of Vieux Quebec.  This unassuming restaurant serves traditional raclette.  The Raclette cheese round is heated, either in front of a fire or by a special machine, then scraped onto diners' plates; the term raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning "to scrape," a reference to the fact that the melted cheese must be scraped from the unmelted part of the cheese onto the plate. A modern way of serving raclette involves an electric table-top grill with small pans, known as coupelles, in which to melt slices of raclette cheese. Generally the grill is surmounted by a hot plate or griddle. The cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of boiled or steamed potatoes, other vegetables and charcuterie. These are then mixed with potatoes and topped with cheese in the small, wedge-shaped coupelles that are placed under the grill to melt and brown the cheese. Alternatively, slices of cheese may be melted and simply poured over food on the plate. The emphasis in raclette dining is on relaxed and sociable eating and drinking, the meal often running to several hours. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Raclette. Le Petit Coin Latin, a cafe, bar and restaurant located just inside the walls of Vieux Quebec. This unassuming restaurant serves traditional raclette. The Raclette cheese round is heated, either in front of a fire or by a special machine, then scraped onto diners’ plates; the term raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning “to scrape,” a reference to the fact that the melted cheese must be scraped from the unmelted part of the cheese onto the plate. A modern way of serving raclette involves an electric table-top grill with small pans, known as coupelles, in which to melt slices of raclette cheese. Generally the grill is surmounted by a hot plate or griddle. The cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of boiled or steamed potatoes, other vegetables and charcuterie. These are then mixed with potatoes and topped with cheese in the small, wedge-shaped coupelles that are placed under the grill to melt and brown the cheese. Alternatively, slices of cheese may be melted and simply poured over food on the plate. The emphasis in raclette dining is on relaxed and sociable eating and drinking, the meal often running to several hours. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Morrin Cultural Centre. Built over 200 hears ago as the city's first prison, the Morrin Centre now also houses one of the world's most beautiful libraries, Vieux Quebec, Quebec City, QC, Canada. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Morrin Cultural Centre. Built over 200 hears ago as the city’s first prison, the Morrin Centre now also houses one of the world’s most beautiful libraries, Vieux Quebec, Quebec City, QC, Canada. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Musée national des beaux-arts du Quebec. The Musée national des beaux-arts du Quebec, first built in 1933, holds nearly 40,000 works of art by Quebec artists, dating from the 17th century to the present day. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Musée national des beaux-arts du Quebec. The Musée national des beaux-arts du Quebec, first built in 1933, holds nearly 40,000 works of art by Quebec artists, dating from the 17th century to the present day. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Breakneck Stairs. Lower Vieux Quebec, also known as Quartier Petit Champlain, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.  Pictured here are the famed "Breakneck Stairs" (French: Escalier casse-cou), Quebec City's oldest stairway, which were built in 1635. Originally called escalier Champlain "Champlain Stairs", escalier du Quêteux "Beggars' Stairs", or escalier de la Basse-Ville "Lower Town Stairs", they were given their current name in the mid-19th century, because of their steepness. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

Breakneck Stairs. Lower Vieux Quebec, also known as Quartier Petit Champlain, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Pictured here are the famed “Breakneck Stairs” (French: Escalier casse-cou), Quebec City’s oldest stairway, which were built in 1635. Originally called escalier Champlain “Champlain Stairs”, escalier du Quêteux “Beggars’ Stairs”, or escalier de la Basse-Ville “Lower Town Stairs”, they were given their current name in the mid-19th century, because of their steepness. Photograph by Susan Seubert.

 

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All images originally appeared in National Geographic.

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