Place Royale, Quebec City

Place Royale, Quebec City (must see)

It's not often one can visit an area in North America with a 400-year history. The birthplace of French-Canadian civilization, Place Royale is the original site of Samuel de Champlain's fort that he built on the shores of the St. Lawrence in the early 1600s. The footprint of that building is marked with black tile on the cobblestones and is particularly noticeable just in front of the stone church on the square – the oldest of its kind in N America, known as Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. At the door to the church is a bronze plaque commemorating said event, though it's unfortunately just inscribed in French.

Place Royale is quite small as it was built in the late 1600s by orders of the French "Sun King", Louis XIV, whose bust visitors can still see. What gives the square its charm, however, are probably the 2-3 story grey fieldstone row houses, all restored to their French colonial appearance with small windows, wide brick chimneys, steep roofs, and firewalls to prevent the spread of fire. Window shutters and doors are painted in cheerful colors (rose, yellow, blue, green), while plentiful window boxes are planted with colorful annual flowers. The ground floors of these homes, once owned by wealthy merchants, have shops offering art, clothing, and souvenirs.

Stop at Place Royale for some attractive photos, briefly visit the church, look at the tiled outline of Champlain's fort, and browse the shops. Not far away is one of the most stunningly beautiful murals in town called Fresque des Québecois, a three-dimensional landscape featuring landmarks and figures of Québec City's history.

Why You Should Visit:
To escape the crowds in a charming part of town. Not only beautiful but equipped with nice shops and restaurants. Feels more like Europe than anything else.

Tip:
La Maison Smith on the square here is a wonderful place to watch people go by with a cup of coffee and croissants. From there you can also easily walk to Petit-Champlain, which is a row of wonderful shops.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Quebec City. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Place Royale on Map

Sight Name: Place Royale
Sight Location: Quebec City, Canada (See walking tours in Quebec City)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Quebec City, Quebec

Create Your Own Walk in Quebec City

Create Your Own Walk in Quebec City

Creating your own self-guided walk in Quebec City is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old Quebec Walk

Old Quebec Walk

A historic neighborhood of Quebec City, Old Quebec (French: Vieux-Québec) sits on top and at the foot of Cap-Diamant, on the eastern edge of Quebec hill promontory. The district comprises the Upper Town (Haute-Ville) and Lower Town (Basse-Ville), and is also sometimes referred to as the Latin Quarter (French: Quartier latin). It has gained recognition as a part of Quebec's cultural heritage...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Historical Houses Walking Tour

Historical Houses Walking Tour

Often referred to as the cradle of New France, Québec City has one of the richest architectural heritages in North America and is particularly evocative of Europe in its atmosphere. Most of the city's architecture, however, had to be adapted to harsh winters and the lack of specialized workers and materials in the colony; as such, most houses were designed as simple and efficient before...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Top Religious Sites Walking Tour

Top Religious Sites Walking Tour

The first religious buildings in Canada were established by Récollets and Jesuits in 1615 and 1625 when they first arrived to "New France". Later on, the colonists brought French culture and architectural traditions. The establishment of British and evangelical society brought major developments to Quebec City. Here is a list of some of the most alluring divine attractions to visit.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Quebec City Introduction Walking Tour

Quebec City Introduction Walking Tour

Cresting a cliff above the St. Lawrence River, Québec City (French: Ville de Québec) is the soul of the province of Québec – a place all its own; a country within a country with its own traditions, architecture, and French-speaking population.

The Algonquian people had originally named the area Kébec, which means "where the river narrows", because the Saint Lawrence River...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles