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World heritage city


The only fortified city north of Mexico City.
Photo : Ville de Québec

In December 1985, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added the historic district of Old Québec City to its prestigious World Heritage List. Québec City became the only city north of Mexico to receive this honor, one it shares with such age-old cities as Tunis, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Rome, Florence, Cracow, and Warsaw.

UNESCO added Québec City to the list in recognition of its universal value and exceptional appeal. The historic district of Old Québec City is the cradle of French civilization in North America and, through its architecture and streetscapes, shows evidence of the role it has played as a capital city under French, British, and Canadian rule.

An impregnable bastion for nearly three centuries, Québec City has preserved the main components of its old defense system. Today, it is the only city in North America surrounded by authentic fortifications.

The World Heritage List

The World Heritage List is comprised of various cultural and natural treasures from all corners of the world-invaluable heritages worthy of protection. UNESCO believes that these treasures belong to all of humanity as the legacies of our common history and the most majestic offerings of nature.

Being named to the List brought Québec City increased notoriety and prestige. It also gave the city call to recognize its responsibility toward the international community and do everything to ensure the historic area's preservation.


Place Royale, birthplace of the first French colony in America.
Photo : Ville de Québec

The Organization of World Heritage Cities

The Organization of World Heritage Cities helps implement international charters on the preservation of urban heritage through its information network and the exchange of knowledge and experience on World Heritage management. The organization's main mission is to improve the management of sites on UNESCO's prestigious World Heritage List.

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