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Quebec City - Canada

Quebec City's origins date back to 1608 when Samuel de Champlain started a trading post here. In a very short time, the post became a fortified settlement with numerous men and women traveling from France to begin their lives in the New World. Skilled craftsmen plied their trade along the St. Lawrence River and the settlement grew. This region was then known as New France and founded by the French to stake their claim in the New World. It remained under French Rule for 150 years, until the British battled them for it in the Plains of Abraham and won.

The French nobles and aristocrats returned to France and those who couldn't, remained under British Rule. The French language was not obliterated and Quebec remains today as a French Language Province. For many years, however, it has been a bone of contention. Many arguments, referendums, debates and discussions have taken place over the language issue.

Quebec is unique in all of Canada. Outside of Mexico, the old city of Quebec is the only walled city in North America. It's like someone took an old European city, picked it up and placed down near the blue waters of the St. Lawrence River. It is a rare jewel. As soon as you arrive in the old town you are immediately transported. A church bell rings the hour and the sound of footsteps echo on the cobbled streets. The smells and flavors of Old Quebec City only add to ambience and the prickly feeling you're not in Canada anymore.

In 1985, the Old Town of Quebec became a Unesco World Heritage Site. It's preservation and history is important to Quebec and it has been well-cared for over the four centuries of its history. The name Quebec is an aboriginal word relating to the narrow part of St. Lawrence, where the settlement began on a hill, 200 feet high, overlooking the river. It was the perfect location as the city suffered many attacks throughout its history. During the Irish Potato Famine in the middle of the 19th century, many immigrants from that country made their way to Canada, primarily Quebec. Diseases like cholera and typhus spread though the ships and many died of the fevers before reaching land. The ships were held in quarantine at Grosse Ile and many of the dead were buried just east of the city of Quebec. This is a sad part of its history.

Prior to 1867 Canada was still ruled by the British. At that time there was a Lower Canada which was Quebec and an Upper Canada which was Ontario. Together with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, they created a new country, gaining it's independence from Britain and becoming the Dominion of Canada.

Today, Canada is still a British Commonwealth Country with the Queen as traditional head of State, but it has it's own parliament, separate from Great Britain. Today, the capital city of Quebec, now a province in Canada, it is one of Canada's most valued tourist areas and it brings pride to those who live in the city. It is old world charming with lovely colonial architecture, great museums, art and churches.

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