The houses that encircle this cobblestone square, with steep Normandy-style roofs, dormer windows, and chimneys, were once the homes of wealthy merchants. Until 1686 the area was called Place du Marché, but its name changed when a bust of Louis XIV was placed at its center. During the late 1600s and early 1700s, when Place Royale was continually under threat of British attack, the colonists moved progressively higher to safer quarters atop the cliff in Upper Town. After
the French colony fell to British rule in 1759, Place Royale flourished again with shipbuilding, logging, fishing, and fur trading. The Fresque des Québécois, a 4,665-square-foot trompe-l'oeil mural depicting 400 years of Québec's history is to the east of the square, at the corner of rue Notre-Dame and côte de la Montagne.
Musée de la Place Royale. This modern information center, set cleverly within the historic Place-Royale, includes exhibits and a replica of a 19th-century house, where children can try on period costumes. A clever multimedia presentation, good for kids, offers a brief history of Québec. 27 rue Notre-Dame, G1K 4E9. 418/646–3167. www.mcq.org. C$7; free Tues. Nov.–May. June 24–early Sept., daily 9:30–5; mid-Sept.–June 23, Tues.–Sun. 10–5.
Québec City, Québec, G1K 4E9, Canada
Aug 18, 2009
If you're lucky, there will be a wedding going on while you're there. Don't miss the huge mural - La Fresque Des Quebecois Wall Mural - right off the Place Royale.