Posts Tagged ‘Quebec City’

It’s going to be 97 degrees in New York City today, and if you’re feeling anything like the TDIBlog right now, you’re desperately thinking of ways to stay cool. The picture above should do the trick. Oh, Canada! Forgive us our American triumphalism of yesteryear. Your forests and Francophonic felicities will satiate our summer sweatiness.

Quebec City, the beating heart of French culture in North America, turns 400 years old next month, and the city’s turning out a year’s worth of festivities in honor of the anniversary. TDI will be there for it, next summer right about this time, as we cruise Canada’s Historic Cities and Waterways. The Guardian reports,

To experience the sudden impact of Quebec City, don’t arrive by air or land. Sail up the estuary of the St Lawrence as it narrows between cliffs and rugged hills.

(We do that, you know.)

“Is there any city in the world that stands so nobly as Quebec?” Rupert Brooke asked upon arriving in 1913. “The citadel crowns a headland, 300ft high, that juts boldly out into the St. Lawrence. Up to it, up the side of the hill, clambers the city, houses and steeples … It has the individuality and the pride of a city where great things have happened.”

The Guardian, charmingly, backtracks on its Left-leaning slant to tell us all the ways the Anglophone world has infiltrated and integrated its history with this Québécois UNESCO World Heritage Site, noting that

“Remember,” one of the residents told me, “this is the heart of French civilization in America.” Yet there’s a paradox. The city prides itself on its Gallic flair and European feel. Yet its modern buildings are standard North American – and much of the historic architecture drew its inspiration from Britain.

The Conservatoire d’Art Dramatique, for instance, trains young Quebec actors in a neoclassical edifice on a hilly side street. But it was built in 1824 as Trinity Chapel of Ease. On a nearby street you’ll find a research centre of Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in a building that began life as St Patrick’s Church. The Anglican cathedral, one of the few in North America to practise the art of change-ringing, was completed in 1804 and modelled on London’s St. Martin in the Fields.

Read the full article here and make sure to visit, on its 400th anniversary, as we cruise the St. Lawrence Seaway from the Atlantic to Lake Ontario next June. It’s the perfect way to imagine yourself amid cool breezes this furiously hot summer day.

Roosevelt and Churchill met twice at the Château Frontenac in the early 1940s. In tribute to those meetings, busts of the two leaders adorn a park beside the National Assembly. A bust of Mackenzie King, the Canadian prime minister who hosted the events, is nowhere to be found.


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