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Personally is the most beautifull city in Canada, at least where I've been and the one with more history.

Québec is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in the province – after Montreal, about 233 kilometres (145 mi) to the southwest. As of the 2006 Canadian Census, the city has a population of 491,142, and the metropolitan area has a population of 715,515.

The narrowing of the Saint Lawrence River approximate to Quebec City and Lévis, on the opposite bank, provided the name given to the city, Kébec, an Algonquin word meaning "where the river narrows". Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. The ramparts surrounding Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) are the only remaining fortified city walls in the Americas north of Mexico, and were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 as the 'Historic District of Old Québec'.

Quebec City is internationally known for its Summer Festival, Winter Carnival, and the Château Frontenac, a hotel which dominates the city skyline. The National Assembly of Quebec (provincial parliament), the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec), and the Musée de la civilisation (Museum of Civilization) are found within or near Vieux-Québec. Among the other attractions near the city are Montmorency Falls and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré in the town of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.

Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America. While many of the major cities in Mexico date from the sixteenth century, among cities in the U.S. and Canada only St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador; Port Royal, Nova Scotia; St. Augustine, Florida; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Jamestown, Virginia and Tadoussac, Quebec were created earlier than Quebec City. However, Quebec City is the first to have been founded with the goal of receiving permanent settlement, and not as a commercial outpost, and therefore is considered to be the first European-built city in non-Spanish North America. Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain on 3 July 1608 at the site of a long abandoned St. Lawrence Iroquoian settlement called Stadacona. It was to this settlement that the name "Canada" refers. Although called the cradle of the Francophone population in North America, the Acadian settlement at Port-Royal antedates it. The place seemed favourable to the establishment of a permanent colony.

Before Champlain, French explorer Jacques Cartier built a fort at the site in 1535, where he stayed for the winter before going back to France in spring 1536. He came back in 1541 with the goal of building a permanent settlement. This first settlement was abandoned less than one year after its foundation, in the summer 1542, due in large part to the hostility of the natives combined with the harsh living conditions during winter.

Quebec City was captured by the British in 1759 and held until 1763. It was the site of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham during the Seven Years' War, in which British troops under General James Wolfe defeated the French general Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and took the city. France ceded New France, including the city, to Britain in 1763.

At the end of French rule in 1763, the territory of present-day Quebec City was a world of contrasts. Forests, villages, fields and pastures surrounded the town of 8 000 inhabitants. The town distinguished itself by its monumental architecture, fortifications, muddy and filthy streets, affluent homes of masonry and shacks in the suburbs St-Jean and St-Roch. Despite its urbanity and its status as capital, Quebec City remained a small colonial city with close ties to its rural surroundings. Nearby inhabitants traded their farm surpluses and firewood for imported goods from France at the two city markets.

During the American Revolution, revolutionary troops from the southern colonies assaulted the British garrison in an attempt to 'liberate' Quebec City now known as the Battle of Quebec. The defeat of the revolutionaries from the south put an end to the hopes that the peoples of Quebec would rise and join the American Revolution so that Canada would join the Continental Congress and become part of the original United States Of America along with the other British colonies of continental North America. In effect, the outcome of the battle would be the effective split of British North America into two distinct political entities. Following the battle, Major General Isaac Brock further fortified Quebec City by strengthening the walls and building an elevated artillery battery known as the Citadelle of Quebec before the War of 1812. A series of Martello towers was also built on elevated terrain beyond the city walls to provide further artillery support effectively turning the city into a fortress. In the end, the city was not attacked during the war of 1812 but continued to house a large British garrison until 1871. The Citadel is still in use by the military and three of the Martello towers are still maintained as museums and tourist attractions.

In 1840, after the Province of Canada was formed, the role of capital was shared between Kingston, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City (from 1852 to 1856 and from 1859 to 1866). In 1867, Ottawa (which was chosen to be the permanent capital of the Province of Canada) was chosen to be the capital of the Dominion of Canada. The Quebec Conference on Canadian Confederation was held here.

Quebec City was struck by the 1925 Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquake.

During World War II, two conferences were held in Quebec City. The First Quebec Conference was held in 1943 with Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the United States' president at the time), Winston Churchill (the United Kingdom's prime minister), William Lyon Mackenzie King (Canada's prime minister) and T.V. Soong (China's minister of foreign affairs). The Second Quebec Conference was held in 1944, and was attended by Churchill and Roosevelt. They took place in the buildings of the Citadelle and of nearby Château Frontenac. A large part of the D-Day Landings plans were made during those meetings.

Throughout its over four hundred years of existence, Quebec City has served as a capital. From 1608 to 1627 and 1632 to 1763, it was capital of French Canada and all of New France; from 1763 to 1791, it was the capital of the Province of Quebec; from 1791 to 1841, it was the capital of Lower Canada; from 1852 to 1856 and from 1859 to 1866, it was capital of the Province of Canada; and since 1867, it has been capital of the Province of Quebec. The administrative region in which Quebec City is situated is officially referred to as the La capitale nationale and the term 'national capital' has been used to refer to Quebec City itself in one provincial statute.
June 2009

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