Rain Delay

The walking tour today was great, even though it rained off and on throughout the 2 1/2 hour tour. Our guide knew his history and was very informative. We started by walking out on the boardwalk in front of Le Chateau Frontenac along the fortress wall. That’s our guide on the left and Dale on the right.

Then we walked up to the plaza where the monument to the two opposing generals, Montcalm for the French and Wolfe for the British, was erected. These generals fought the deciding battle (the British won) in the French and Indian War in 1759 that resulted in the Bristish occupying Canada until it’s independence in 1867. Both Montcalm and Wolfe were mortally wounded in the fighting.

At the time, the British were in encamped across the river (where we’re staying now) and they had a new cannon that – suprisingly to the French at the time – was able to bombard the city from that distance, destroying most of the old buildings. The French army thought that the British would attack by land from the East, but the British found a hidden path that approached from the West, so they attacked from that direction after the bombardment. The surprise resulted in the French defeat. And the defeat meant that Canada went from being a French colony to being a British one.

The significance of all this today, with respect to our tour, was that the British rebuilt Quebec in their style of architecture and those earliest British buildings were located on this square.

Even though the French lost the French and Indian War, the French culture stayed in Quebec with the many Frenchmen that remained here after the War. Over time, the French architecture returned and we saw several examples of it.

This building was built in 1820.

And this one was built around that time as well. There are a couple things to notice: the roof is tin to reduce fire hazard from the chimney; there is a snow fence on the roof just above the eave to keep the snow from falling on the sidewalk; and, the windows were double-pained for warmth.

The windows were very unique. It’s very cold here in the winter and the winter is long, so they don’t open their windows very often. But, notice the single pane with the screen: it opens alone so that they can get some ventilation during the cold months without letting a lot of cold air in.

We continued the walking tour past the Catholic cathedral. The French were nearly all catholics. The British, not to be outdone, built an Anglican (that is, Episcopalian or Church of England) cathedral exactly one foot taller than the Catholic cathedral. Here it is:

We also visited a convent and a monastery that has since been converted into part of Laval University. Then we walked down to the lower old town and finished our tour there. Here we are in front of the old monastery.

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