Quebec (i/kwɪˈbɛk/ or /kəˈbɛk/; French: Québec ), also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City (French: Ville de Québec), is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. As of 2011, the city has a population of 516,622, and the metropolitan area has a population of 765,706, making it the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about 233 kilometres (145 mi) to the southwest.
The narrowing of the Saint Lawrence River proximate to the city's promontory, Cap-Diamant (Cape Diamond), and Lévis, on the opposite bank, provided the name given to the city, Kébec, an Algonquin word meaning "where the river narrows". Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. The ramparts surrounding Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) are the only remaining fortified city walls that still exist in the Americas north of Mexico, and were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 as the 'Historic District of Old Québec'.
According to the federal and provincial governments, Québec is the city's official name in both French and English, although Quebec City (or its French equivalent, Ville de Québec) is commonly used, particularly to distinguish the city from the province. The city's most famous landmark is the Château Frontenac, a hotel which dominates the skyline. The National Assembly of Quebec (provincial legislature), the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec), and the Musée de la civilisation (Museum of Civilization) are found within or near Vieux-Québec.
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Famous quotes containing the word city:
“This city now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie
Open unto the fields and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.”
—William Wordsworth (17701850)