Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I visited Montreal and Quebec City. I managed to fit in a number of fun history sites during the week and savored the opportunity to explore new (to me) cities and their very old origins.
We stayed in the old part of Montreal. Although a bit touristy, the architecture is stunning, it’s very walkable, metro accessible, full of excellent restaurants, and beautifully decorated for the holidays.
After learning about Chateau Ramezay in Episode 41 of Ben Franklin’s World, I was determined to visit for myself.
The museum offered an excellent history of the Native American history of the site, the transformation of the city over time, and of course, Ben Franklin’s residency in 1775.
My favorite part of Quebec City is that history is everywhere. They have replica canons set up along the city as they would have been in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There is nothing quite like walking along and seeing a random bunch of canons. And the city cannot be beat for beauty.
On our last day we visited La Citadelle. The museum offers an incredible history of the strategic importance of Quebec City and how the citadelle’s role has shifted over the centuries. It also offered the best view of the city.
The tour and museum also delve deeply into the history of the Royal 22nd Regiment, the Canadian Army’s only French-speaking regiment. It was a pleasure to learn about the regiment’s role in twentieth-century conflicts and its unique culture.
We also stumbled upon these signs on our last morning. After singing Hamilton lyrics the entire trip, it was just too perfect to find these markers of General Montgomery’s sad end.
A few non-history notes. If you are a fan of holiday decorations, I can’t recommend Quebec City enough. Although very chilly in December, the decorations are so pretty the town practically looks fake.
Lastly, eat poutine. Nothing tastes better when you are cold and weary from your adventures.