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Museums and Galleries (Self Guided), Quebec City

Quebec City has been considered the fortress capital of New France since the 16th century. It has a remarkable history, being first settled by Europeans in 1608. In 2008 they celebrated its 400th anniversary. Considering its history, it has many interesting museums worth visiting. The museums featured on this self guided walk tour tells the story of the early life in Quebec City.
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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: 6
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
  • Au Royaume du Pere Noel
  • Musee des Ursulines de Quebec
  • Centre Marie de l'Incarnation
  • The Fort Museum (Le Musee du Fort)
  • Chevalier House (Maison Chevalier)
1
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. It is part of the Séminaire de Québec site and was founded by Monseigneur de Laval in 1663. The first collection of scientific instruments for educational purposes, dating back to 1806, and other numerous collections can be found here. The exhibits revolve around the history of the French people 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.

Tip:
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
2
Au Royaume du Pere Noel

2) Au Royaume du Pere Noel

This 1600 square foot interactive exhibition is the largest permanent Christmas exhibition in the world. It is like a Christmas village with all imaginable kinds of decorations and gifts. The exhibition sells the usual kinds of Christmas gifts, as well as unique and exclusive items for this festive time. The Christopher Radko objects and glass ornaments from Egypt are only a couple of examples of the museum’s special merchandise.
Hours: Summer - Daily: 8:00 to 23:00; Winter - Daily: 10:00 to 17:30
3
Musee des Ursulines de Quebec

3) Musee des Ursulines de Quebec

The name of the museum comes from a group of consecrated women called the Company of Saint Ursula, from 1535. The museum contains unique archives telling of their spiritual heritage over the three centuries they have been active. The collection consists of over 200 volumes, moving images and cartographic material.
Hours: High season (May to September), Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Low season (October to April), Tuesday to Sunday: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
4
Centre Marie de l'Incarnation

4) Centre Marie de l'Incarnation

Blessed Marie de l'Incarnation founded the community of Ursuline nuns of Quebec and opened the first girls' school in North America. This museum is dedicated to her missionary works and life (1599-1672). A permanent collection of memoirs, rosary beads, portraits and the belongings of Mother Mary of the Incarnation are found here. Visitors also have the opportunity to pray in the chapel at her tomb and purchase books at the shop.
5
The Fort Museum (Le Musee du Fort)

5) The Fort Museum (Le Musee du Fort) (must see)

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.

Tip:
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)
6
Chevalier House (Maison Chevalier)

6) 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 former shipowner Jean-Baptiste Chevalier), 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.

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)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Religious Sites Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles