Happy 400th birthday Quebec

Four hundred years ago on July 3, 1608 Samuel de Champlain established the first French settlement in Canada giving Québec City its start. Here’s a shout out, even though the party began the first of the year, according to this CBC news report.

There’s still plenty of time to participate since the celebration will continue until October 19 with Cirque de Soleil as the final act.

The article, written December 31, 2007 also mentioned that 80% of Canadians had no idea Quebec is 400 this year. I hope by now they do or they’ve missed out on good times already. The government has put $90 million towards the festivities.

Of all the events still to come, the one that piqued my interest is “Le chemin que marche: A glowing tribute to the St. Lawrence River.” On the night of August 15 the river and its banks will be lit up and turned into a stage for “acrobatics, dance and megaprojections.” The other events sound spectacular as well, but there’s something extra special about river activities at night, particularly in the summer.

With 400 years under its belt, there are historical sites a-plenty to savor. Start off with the Historic District of Old Québec. The whole district is a UNESCO World Heritage site. According to the UNESCO Web site, this is one of the best examples of a fortified colonial city.

If I were going to Québec, one place I would take in the Henry-Stewart House. Generations of the same family occupied the house from 1918 to 1988. To me that translates to a more intimate perspective of this city through the lives of Stewart family members. Whenever I can attach real people to places I visit, I’m drawn in. Tea is included in the guided tour. How civilized is that?

Here’s a link to other historic sites. There are so many worthy of note, it’s hard to chose among them.

Other facts about Québec:

  • The original name was Kébec
  • Kébec is an Algonquin word that means “place where the river narrows”