Citadelle of Quebec, Quebec, Canada


On back:
Quebec Une rangée de vieux canons sur un bastion de la Citadelle
[Row of cannons on a bastion of the Citadelle.]
1920s
Publisher: “Les éditions d’art Jackie, Dépôt Général, 40 Rue de la Fabrique, Quebec”

Google Street View (approximate).

The Citadelle of Québec is the largest British fortress in North America. It is an integral part of the Québec fortifications and is located on Cape Diamond, the city’s highest point. . . . Having narrowly repelled the American invasion of Canada during the War of 1812, the British decided to re-examine their defensive strategy. Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond and Governor-in-Chief of British North America, was given the task and drew up plans to build and improve defensive works at strategic locations. Lieutenant-Colonel Elias Walker Durnford of the British Army was entrusted with building the Citadelle of Québec. His star fort shape is based on designs by French engineer Sébastien Le Prestre Vauban. Construction spanned from 1820 to 1850, and the Citadelle is today an integral part of the fortifications of Québec. Its first occupants were British troops, followed by the Royal Canadian Artillery. It remains an active garrison and since 1920 is home to the Royal 22e Régiment, the Canadian Forces’ sole French-language regular force infantry regiment.
La Citadelle de Québec

Built by the British according to fortification plans designed by the celebrated French engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, the Citadelle of Quebec is comprised of a star-shaped stone protective wall and four bastions. With its barracks, hangers, powder magazines, armory and even a hospital, the Citadelle would have been self-sufficient in the event of a siege, but it was never attacked. Its location and size earned it the nickname America’s Gibraltar. The Citadelle is located atop Cap Diamant, overlooking the city and the St. Lawrence River. The French had already erected bastions in this highly strategic location. This is why two Citadelle buildings date back to the French Regime: the Cap Diamant Redoubt and the powder magazine, built in 1693 and 1750, respectively.

The Citadelle’s main entrance is the only authenticate gate that is still exists in Quebec City since its construction in 1828. It has also preserved its zigzagging baffle that crosses the glacis (the long slope of land) that protects the exterior stone wall, forming a defensive ditch (which serves today as a traffic corridor) with the interior stone wall of the actual fortress.
Corridor Canada


PLans & elevations of Cap Diamant Redoubt, 18th century Archives nationales d’outre-mer

The Cap Redoubt building serves as one of the best illustrations of the period from the 17th to 19th centuries when Québec was a fortified town and it is one of the best examples of the influence that the presence of military forces and increasing activities related to defensive works played on socioeconomic life during this period. The walls played a major role in the city’s future development, as they often limited expansion and influenced growth patterns. The Cap Redoubt is a very good example of a defensive military structure that projects an image of strength and is characterized by its irregular shape, its sloping wall facing northeast, and almost blank walls. The small defensive structure is one of the rare vestiges of the original Québec fortifications, and the oldest military extant, which was erected during the French Regime in Canada. It is also among the oldest military buildings in Canada.
Parks Canada.

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