Above: Auberge Saint-Antoine, with its orange-brick exterior and green-copper mansard roof, faces Place des Canotiers, a St. Lawrence riverfront park, Québec City - FRANCIS FONTAINE

Founded in the 17th century and terraced down the side of a promontory overlooking the St. Lawrence River, Québec City, the province’s picturesque capital, is the oldest metropolis in Canada. The exquisitely preserved Vieux-Québec, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985, is divided into the Upper Town and Lower Town. The two are connected by a funicular, a narrow street with hairpin curves and, for energetic walkers, a network of stairways appropriately named Escalier Casse-cou (“Breakneck Staircase”). The Upper Town is home to Québec City’s two most popular sites: the turreted Château Frontenac, a grand hotel built by Canadian Pacific Railway in 1893, now owned by Fairmont, and La Citadelle fortress, the cornerstone of what remains of the city’s historic ramparts. The calmer Lower Town is a place of narrow cobblestone streets and restored warehouses.

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Above: Auberge Saint-Antoine, with its orange-brick exterior and green-copper mansard roof, faces Place des Canotiers, a St. Lawrence riverfront park, Québec City - FRANCIS FONTAINE

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