Quebec - The French Heart of North America, Canada
When an expedition of French seafarers including Samuel de Champlain came up the St. Lawrence Seaway and landed in 1603, a small Native American settlement stood under the towering cliffs near the future site of Quebec City. Originally, de Champlain intended nothing more than to establish a small trading post on the spot. Eighty years later, a baroque church stood here: ”Notre Dame de Victoire”, now the oldest stone church in North America. More and more settlers arrived from France, and soon, a city had grown up. The soldiers and traders brought missionaries with them. One of the most precious treasures of the old town is the baroque altar of the Ursuline Convent of Quebec City, built during the mid 17th century. British forces repeatedly attacked the French settlement, eventually conquering it on 13 September, 1759. The new masters rebuilt the citadelle into a massive fortress to defend not only against enemy attack but also against periodic revolts by the French population. However, the inhabitants avenged the military defeat in their own special way - with "Revenge from the cradle”. With as many as 12 to 15 children, each family ensured the perpetuation of their French heritage. Today, visitors often experience Quebec as an authentic piece of France in the heart of North America.