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Citadelle of Québec

One of Quebec’s most distinctive sights is a century-old fortress that is also one of the largest military fortifications in North America.

The Citadelle of Québec is perched on a rocky bluff high above the St. Lawrence River. Constructed between 1820 and 1831 to defend the city against American invasion, the citadel has never actually been attacked. The fortress stands undamaged, still watching over Québec. Today, the citadel houses various museums. 

Not many first-time visitors to the citadel realize that it is still in use: It’s the ceremonial home of Québec's Royal 22e Régiment and the official residence of the Governor General of Canada.

One-hour guided tours show you the buildings, bastions and other strongholds. Highlights include the regimental museum in an old military prison and an old French gunpowder storage room. Some nights during the high season you can tour the fort after dark, for a more spooky experience.

The museum’s collection covers more than 300 years of military history from the French colonial period onwards. Artifacts on display include campaign medals, World War I and II uniforms, flags, banners and historic weapons. Don’t miss the trench art, objects made from the debris of modern warfare.

Watch the Royal 22e Régiment perform the Changing of the Guard on the parade ground. This ceremony is held each morning from June 24 until the first Monday of September. On Saturdays in July and August you can also see the Beating of the Retreat, a ceremony with origins in the 16th century. 

Located in the Upper Town, the Citadelle of Québec is within easy walking and cycling distance of major attractions, such as Battlefields Park and Dufferin Terrace. Bike racks are provided. If you are driving, you can park for free for up to two hours outside the fort. The entry fee includes the tour of the citadel and the Royal 22e Régiment Museum and ceremony admission. Children under 7 enter for free. The site is open daily, except on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  

To tie in with the 100th anniversary of Royal 22e Régiment in 2014, a new museum is being added to the citadel site. Visit the Citadelle of Québec website for the latest information.

Guide to Exploring Citadelle of Quebec


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