The Monkey unleashes a few more photos from the archives: Fancy a bit more Québec scenery?
This hilltop fortress, along with the church at right, are foundational structures in the history of Québec. When the French colonizers made Québec the center of their North American empire, they began fortifying the Cap Diamant, which provided a strategic vantage point in all directions; some parts of Québec’s Citadelle date from this period. The British later significantly expanded the citadel as a defense against the United States following the War of 1812. The massive complex of the Citadelle (only partially visible behind the Monkey here) contributed to another nickname for Québec City: the Gibraltar of America (Luxembourg City has a similar moniker, and similar fortifications, in part because both shared the French military engineer Vauban as a contributing designer). The Citadelle is the largest fort actively in use in the Americas, and remains home to the Royal 22nd Regiment, the only fully francophone unit in the Canadian military.
The Monkey visits another important monument in the Haute-Ville, the Basilique de Notre Dame de Québec. The current church dates from the 1920s, but emulates a much earlier (1647) basilica built on the same spot which succumbed to the first of several fires that plagued this, the seat of the oldest American parish north of Mexico.
The Monkey peers up at the flag of Québec. Though the talk of a breakaway Québec has receded as Québec’s economy boomed and francophone cultural rights were enshrined in Canadian law, it’s not that long since the issue of Québec separatism was a mainstay of Canadian political life.
C’est si belle, n’est-ce pas? The Monkey enjoys the aftermath of a quick downpour that left the stone streets and buildings of Québec’s Basse-Ville shimmering in the sunlight.
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