View of the Old City in Quebec City, Canada
© RENAULT Philippe/age fotostoc
A slice of Europe, in Canada. Celebrating winter, Canadian style
Picturesque but chilly, welcome to the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. Quebec City is one of North America’s oldest European settlements, a rare example of a fortified city whose walls still stand. Settled by French colonists in 1541 and officially founded in 1608, its winding streets showcase old Romantic architecture, typified by the steep-roofed Château Frontenac in our homepage photo.
The annual Quebec Winter Carnival, which kicks off here today, is one of the largest and oldest cold-weather celebrations on Earth. Thousands of Quebecers and visitors will spend the next 10 days ice skating, enjoying night parades, exploring the festival's ice palace and dressing up for the Château's masquerade ball. And there will be winter feats - including the ice canoe race across the St Lawrence River, which is so frozen that canoeists have to step out from time to time, to carry their vessels over huge ice chunks.