The Citadelle of Quebec is a military fortress located in Quebec City and is the only one still active on the continent. Its history dates back to 1693.
In the case of the structure in Quebec City, the Citadelle consists of lodgings, food and equipment storage buildings, an armoury and hospital facilities.
Quebec’s Historic Citadelle
The Citadelle of Quebec is a stunning military fortress filled with Canadian history. It took 30 years to construct and was finally finished in 1850. The fortress’ purpose was to defend against potential invasions from America, which was a very real threat following the War of 1812.
The Citadelle sits on an edge of land called Cap Diamant and faces the St. Lawrence River on one side. This makes it a tough place to invade because it can’t be easily accessed from all directions.
The initial idea of using Cap Diamant for militaristic purposes came from Samuel de Champlain. De Champlain was a French colonist who arrived in Quebec in the early 1600s. Many people consider him to be the founder of Quebec City since he was instrumental in setting up a community in that area.
One of the oldest buildings in the Citadelle of Quebec is the Cap Diamont Redoubt. This structure was erected in 1693 following the Battle of Quebec that took place three years earlier. Josue Dubois Berthelot de Beaucours, a French military officer, created much of the fortress’ early fortifications. Lots of his architecture still exists within the Citadelle today.
After the War of 1812, the main star fort began construction in 1820 and it took 30 years to build. The fortress hasn’t seen many battles since then, but important events have still taken place there. For example, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Mackenzie King gathered at the Citadelle of Quebec in 1943 and 1944 to discuss strategy during World War II.
The Citadelle was then named as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1980, further cementing its place in Canadian history.
What is a Citadel?
A citadel is the structure within which a military garrison lives. “Cittadella”, in Italian, means “small city.” A garrison, meanwhile, is a group of troops based in a particular location.
Activities at the Citadelle
There are usually many interesting activities happening at the fortress. Unfortunately, most of them are not currently taking place due to the pandemic. Cancelled activities include Visit at Nightfall, Changing of the Guard and Beating of the Retreat.
As of January, 2022, the main thing that visitors can do is tour the Citadelle. There is a museum in the fortress that shows the daily lives of soldiers who’ve served in the Citadelle and also the history of the fortress. Visitors can see medals, weapons and other artifacts used as well.
The Citadelle is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM and the last tour starts at 4:00 PM.
Here are the admission fees for the daily tours:
- Adults – $18
- Seniors and students – $16
- Teenagers (aged 11 to 17) – $6
- Children under 11 – free
- Family bundle – $40
Another activity that is currently available is a tour of the Residence of the Governor General at the Citadelle. The fortress is the second residence of Canada’s governor generals and visitors can see the State rooms and learn more about the residence’s history.
For more information about the market click The Citadelle of Quebec.
See the Governor General of Canada‘s website to learn more about the tour of the residence.
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