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Place D'Youville is a popular square located at the St-Jean Gate to the Old City and is always full of life during every season. In the warmer months, street musicians perform for tourists and locals, while skateboarders and rollerbladers take a break from the urban bustle. In winter, hit the skating rink for a leisurely afternoon with a nice view. Located between the Parliament Buildings and the Artillery Park National Historic Site, this is a great starting point for any tour of Old Quebec.
Facing the Château Frontenac, this pleasantly landscaped promenade and boardwalk, Dufferin Terrace, offers the city's best view of the Saint Lawrence River and Old Quebec. Full of vendors, street performers and scores of visitors in the summer, the boardwalk is also an excellent starting point for touring the rest of the city. Those in search of some exercise can descend the staircase to the Lower Town, others ride the precipitous funicular railway. The spectacular Promenade des Gouverneurs leaves the Terrace to the south, runs beneath the Citadel, and emerges at the Plains of Abraham.
This magnificent boardwalk, Promenade des Gouverneurs links the Dufferin Terrace with the National Battlefields Park. Anchored on a sheer cliff and offering indomitable views over the Saint Lawrence River, the boardwalk extends nearly half a mile, under The Citadel, and provides the most enjoyable link between Vieux-Québec and the Upper Town. The boardwalk is free and open year round, but there is no snow removal in the winter so the walk can become quite treacherous.
Bordered by the St. Lawrence River, Old Québec or Vieux-Québec is the historic heart of the modern day City of Quebec. Divided into two distinct parts, the Upper Town and Lower Town, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a gateway into the history of the province. The Upper Town is set atop the Cap Diamant and is the city's historic administrative and military hub. Its most iconic landmark, the Citadelle with its star shaped design is an arresting edifice while the Chateau Frontenac is a mesmerizing vision of Victorian grandeur. The Upper Town is also one of the sites of the Carnaval de Quebec, considered to be among the largest winter festivals on the globe. The Lower Town, at the base of the mount, is the livelier of the two with a bustling market and vibrant Old Port. Amid hundreds of historic buildings, tourist attractions, pubs and restaurants lie dozens of boutiques, galleries, souvenir shops and other distinctive establishments. The Church of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires is another of Old Québec's many treasures.
Skirting the Saint Lawrence River, this 2.5 kilometer (1.55 mile) stretch is one of the most picturesque recreational spaces in the city. Besides refreshing views of the meandering river, the beautifully laid-out promenade offers numerous delightful experiences from lush woodlands for nature lovers to play areas for the sports enthusiasts. Worth a special mention is the Station des Quais, a series of gardens showcasing artistic interpretations of the great river. Opened in 2008, the promenade has garnered wide acclaim and numerous awards for its design, and has become one of the most popular public spaces in the city.