<p>Lights shine from skyscrapers in Quebec City on a clear winter evening. With a bustling downtown and a well-preserved historic district, the city marries past and present.</p>

Lights shine from skyscrapers in Quebec City on a clear winter evening. With a bustling downtown and a well-preserved historic district, the city marries past and present.

Photograph by Jean Claude MOSCHETTI, REA/Redux

Quebec City: Merging Past and Present

Home to the historic Château Frontenac, the walled district of Old Quebec, and the Basilica-Cathedral Notre-Dame de Québec, Quebec City offers visitors a rare opportunity to step into Canada's impressive past.

With its sturdy stone walls and high ramparts, its grandly gabled public buildings and town houses bedecked with flower boxes, Quebec City welcomes travelers eager to explore its cobblestoned streets. While the city's thriving downtown is peppered with modern skyscrapers, nearby Old Quebec is steeped in the colonial heritage of the province.

Walking through this celebrated destination, visitors will no doubt find buildings dating back to the 17th century, when the city served as the capital of New France. Old Quebec, where much of the city's deep history lies, is comprised of Upper Town and Lower Town districts and dotted with fine antique stores and restaurants. The neighborhood became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985 and offers locals and travelers the opportunity to step back in time by wandering through its historic architecture and quaint squares.

Discover the layers of Quebec City, from its storied past to its revitalized present, in this photo gallery.

This piece was originally published on November 14, 2015 and updated on November 21, 2016.
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