Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Museums and Galleries (Self Guided), Quebec City

Head indoors and take in some of the numerous museums during your visit. Given Québec City's remarkable history as the fortress capital of New France since the 16th century, there are many things to learn about the life of early settlers and the most important battles. The museums featured on this self-guided walk each tell the story in their own way, allowing for a a well-rounded view of the history and trajectory of the Francophone population, not just in Québec or in Canada, but within the whole of the continent.
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Museums and Galleries Map

Guide Name: Museums and Galleries
Guide Location: Canada » Quebec City (See other walking tours in Quebec City)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Author: susan
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Musée de l'Amérique Francophone
  • Pole Culturel du Monastere des Ursulines
  • Centre Marie de l'Incarnation
  • The Fort Museum (Le Musee du Fort)
  • Chevalier House (Maison Chevalier)
Musée de l'Amérique Francophone

1) Musée de l'Amérique Francophone

This historical museum is the oldest in Canada and has its roots in European educational and religious traditions. Part of the Séminaire de Québec site, it was founded by Monseigneur de Laval in 1663 and showcases the first collection of scientific instruments for educational purposes, dating back to 1806, along with numerous other collections. The exhibits revolve around the history of the French in North America, bearing witness to the strength and determination of millions of people.

Why You Should Visit:
To learn about French cultures' importance in North America – not just the French colonization in Quebec, but also French explorations and influence in western Canada & the U.S.
Labels are in French and English, with many short audio presentations in both languages. They offer some tours in English to some 'behind-the-scenes' areas not open to the public.

Be sure to use the headphones and listen to the speeches in each section – they're usually about 1 minute each.
If you can take the guided tour, your experience will be much more rewarding.

Opening Hours:
Sat, Sun: 10am–5pm
Pole Culturel du Monastere des Ursulines

2) Pole Culturel du Monastere des Ursulines

Among the oldest schools in North America, founded in 1639, this site now also boasts a museum and a chapel alongside the schoolrooms and courtyard playgrounds. Despite its simple, austere pews, the chapel has some of the most beautiful sculpted wood in Québec, and it was the Ursulines themselves who gilded the carvings, which now adorn the nave.

Just outside of the convent's walls, the Musée des Ursulines tells the story of these pioneer women, allowing visitors into the heart of the boarding school and the daily lives of the nuns and the young girls who passed through the convent's halls. Not only are the exhibits interesting, but they're also the perfect size and have just the right amount of information – including artifacts from the time of the French regime such as teaching materials, personal objects, and sacred artwork. Most museums feel worn, but not this one; it feels brand new.

Opening Hours (Chapel):
Tue-Sat: 10am–5pm (May-Oct); Sat, Sun: 1pm–5pm (Nov-Apr)
Centre Marie de l'Incarnation

3) Centre Marie de l'Incarnation

Blessed Marie de l'Incarnation (born Marie Guyart in Tours, France) is a celebrated founder of the Ursuline Order in colonial New France, who opened the first girls' school in North America. This museum is dedicated to her missionary works and life (1599-1672), containing a permanent collection of memoirs, rosary beads, portraits and belongings that are helpful in the reconstruction and understanding of New France in the 17th century. Visitors also have the opportunity to pray in the chapel at her tomb and purchase books at the shop.

Marie was canonized by Pope Francis on 2 April 2014, alongside François de Laval, the first Bishop of Quebec.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 10:30am–4:30pm; Sun: 1:30–4:30pm (May-Oct); open upon reservation in the winter season (Nov-Apr)
The Fort Museum (Le Musee du Fort)

4) The Fort Museum (Le Musee du Fort)

Situated in a historic house in the shadow of the Château Frontenac, this is a "museum" in the loosest sense: there is precisely one theater, a small shop in the waiting area, and a few timeline pictures on the walls of the staircase up to the main attraction.

What is the main attraction, you might ask? A 30-minute multimedia presentation of the city that recreates its six sieges and the Battle of the Plain of Abraham – a formative event in the making of Canada as we know it. Revolving around a diorama with lighting effects and audio narrative, these are probably the best 30 minutes for a quick history lesson about QC as a gateway to the American Continent. You will watch the multimedia presentation on a wide screen above a large-scale model of ancient QC and the surrounding rivers and islands, in a small 50-seat theater where the seats vibrate with each gun battle! LEDs in the models and well-placed synchronized projections onto the rivers and the model's terrain give an excellent audio-visual experience.

Short but packed with information, this is definitely a must-see for history buffs and those who only have a few hours to spend in Québec City. Included among other highlights is a small exhibit of weapons, uniforms, and military badges.

Why You Should Visit:
Filled with passion for storytelling, the daily shows as well as the information about the museum itself is extremely intriguing. Québec does not have much of a military history, but this presentation sure tries to make it exciting! Included in (the very fair) admission is a discount coupon to Le Chic Shack and a number of other attractions.

The show is given in French and English, so make sure that you go to the right one. In English on the hour and in French on the half hour (but double-check).

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am–5pm (May-Oct); 11am-4pm (Nov-Apr)
Chevalier House (Maison Chevalier)

5) Chevalier House (Maison Chevalier)

The mid-18th-century classical French Maison Chevalier is another fine example of urban architecture in New France. A former hotel, it was the first building in the Place-Royale area to be restored in the 1950s. The current structure is really three separate houses from three distinctive periods: Maison de l'Armateur Chevalier (home of a former shipowner), built in a square in the 1750s; Maison Frérot, with a mansard roof (1683); and Maison Chesnay, dating from 1660.

All three houses were repaired or partially rebuilt following the British Conquest. As a group, they were rescued from deterioration by Gérard Morisset, the influential director of an art works inventory, who suggested that they be purchased and restored by Québec's government, which in turn has prevented the demolition of the Royal Square itself.

With the iconic Château Frontenac visible in the background, this is an excellent place to walk around while soaking in the area's beauty and history. During the Quebec Carnival in February, it's also a great place for traditional music evenings.

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