Point of interest
- Ville de Québec
- Guy Lessard
Surrounded by tourist attractions and historic architecture, this tree-filled park and public square is said to be the hub of Old Québec.
Most visitors exploring the sector of Upper Town within the fortified walls eventually arrive here, given its strategic location next to the Tourist Information Centre, Château Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace. In the middle of the park is a Gothic fountain on which stands the Faith Monument (monument de la Foi) commemorating the three-hundred year anniversary of the arrival of the Recollet Fathers in Québec.
What is there to do at Place d’Armes?
- Place d'Armes is the departure point for many guided tours of the city, as well as the boarding point for various motorcoach excursions.
- You can rest in the shade cast by the mature trees and Château Frontenac, a distinguished edifice in the Old City.
- On nearby rue Sainte-Anne, you can watch the portrait artists and caricaturists practising their craft or savour a meal at one of the sidewalk terraces.
History of Place d’Armes
During the French Regime, this square was known as Grande Place, and its most prominent structural neighbour was Château Saint-Louis, the permanent residence of the governors of New France. Military parades and harangues were held by the French army here until 1760, when the colony changed hands. From then on, similar activities were carried out in this square by British troops. During the construction of the Citadel in the 1830s, military activities ceased to be held at Place d’Armes, which became a public park in about 1865.
In 1915, a monument dedicated to faith was erected in homage of the Recollets, the first religious order to be established in New France (1615). Faith is represented by the statue of a woman holding a cross in her right hand and a palm frond in her left; this statue forms the top of the fountain. Three sides of the monument are decorated in bas-relief carvings: the first illustrates the arrival of Father Jean Dolbeau on June 2, 1615; the second commemorates the first mass celebrated by the Recollets on the Island of Montreal at Rivière des Prairies; and the third presents Father Joseph Le Caron among the Huron.