By SHANNON KELLY
Quebec is one of Canada’s oldest cities, founded in 1608, and arguably the best preserved, so doing at least one museum on your trip here is essential. Explore French-Canadian and native history, art and even 17th-century medical technology at these fascinating museums in a fascinating city. At the very least, they can provide a respite from the summer heat!
1. Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec
Highlights of this art museum in Battlefield Park include the world’s largest collection of Quebec art, more than 2,500 Inuit artworks and 35,000 paintings, sculptures and other works spanning four centuries. You can also tour the historic parts of the building that served as a prison from 1867 to 1970.
Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec
Parc des Champs-de-Bataille
Quebec City, QC G1R 5H3
418-643-2150 or 1-866-220-2150
2. Musée de la Civilisation
This superbly executed and designed modern museum complex incorporates several 18th- and 19th-century buildings, including a complete 21-room stone house built in 1751. Permanent exhibits tell the story of Western colonization of Canada, with an emphasis on First Nations history, French-Canadian history and the Canadian territories. Plenty of interactive exhibits are fun for kids including a hands-on room where you can dress in 1800-era costumes.
Musée de la Civilisation
85 Rue Dalhousie
Quebec, QC G1K 7A6
3. Maison Chevalier
The sandstone-and-limestone house, built in classic French style in 1752, is entirely restored inside, with large stone fireplaces, vaulted cellars, pine floors and furniture and fashion from the period. In the heart of Quebec’s walled Old City, it is part of the Musée de la Civilization complex.
50 Rue du Marché-Champlain
Quebec, QC G1K 8R1
418-646-3167 or 1-866-710-8031
4. Musée Nacional de Jade
The Jade Museum is a must for gem lovers, but is also captivating for its location, in a series of 18th-century storage vaults. More than 200 jade artifacts are on display.
Musée Nacional de Jade 1 Place Royale Quebec, QC G1K 4G3 418-694-0425
5. La Citadelle de Québec
It’s practically impossible not to visit North America’s largest British fortress, dating to 1820, since its garrison walls surround Old Quebec. Its battlements, with cannons at the ready, are worth climbing for a view of the city and St. Lawrence River. The Musée Royal 22e Régiment is dedicated to the military history of the still-active francophone regiment. Don’t miss the changing of the guard daily at 10 a.m. in summer.
Musée Royal 22e Régiment
1 Côte de la Citadelle
Quebec, QC G1R 4V7
6. Musée de l’Amérique Française
Canada’s oldest museum, part of the Musée de la Civilisation complex, was started in 1806 by two priests at the on-site Séminaire de Québec. It is a must-see for medical- and science history fans. It has a collection of 19th-century scientific instruments and historic medical artifacts connected to hospitals run by Augustine nuns since the 17th century. This is also a good place to get a background in the French Canadian heritage including Acadian and Métis history.
Musée de l’Amérique Française
2 Côte de la Fabrique
Quebec City, QC G1R 3V6
418-692-2843 or 1-866-710-8031
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