Covering 108 hectares (267 acres) of grassy hills, sunken gardens, monuments, fountains, and trees, Québec's Battlefields Park was Canada's first national urban park. It also goes by the name the Plains of Abraham, and is where Britain's General James Wolfe and France's Louis-Joseph, marquis de Montcalm, engaged in their short but crucial battle in 1759 which resulted in the British defeat of the French troops -- and in the deaths of both military leaders. Today, it's a favorite place for Québécois when they want sunshine or a bit of exercise.
From spring through fall, see the Jardin Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc Garden), just off avenue Wilfrid-Laurier near the Loews le Concorde Hotel. This spectacular garden combines French classical style with British-looking flower beds. Through the rest of the park, nearly 6,000 trees representing more than 80 species blanket the fields. Prominent among these are sugar maple, silver maple, Norway maple, American elm, and American ash. Also in the park are two Martello towers, cylindrical stone defensive structures built between 1808 and 1812 when Québec feared an American invasion.
In summer, free concerts are given at the park's bandstand, Kiosque Edwin-Bélanger. Fittingly, the national anthem, O Canada, was first performed here.
The Discovery Pavilion of the Plains of Abraham, at 835 av. Wilfrid-Laurier (tel. 418/648-4071), near the Citadelle, has a gift shop, bathrooms, racks of brochures, and a multimedia exhibit called "Odyssey: A Journey through History on the Plains of Abraham," which is presented in English, French, Spanish, and Japanese.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Highly Recommended 2010