Friday, September 22, 2017

Inspiration from Quebec City

photo of Château Frontenac Hotel
Château Frontenac Hotel

I had the opportunity to visit Quebec City, Canada's oldest city. It was established as a French colonial outpost and founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. I found lots of inspiration for those who appreciate the arts and history. Quebec City is the capital city of the Canadian province of Quebec. The city has a population of about 500,000. Quebec City is located in the Saint Lawrence River valley, on the north bank of the Saint Lawrence River near its meeting with the St. Charles River. The surrounding area is low-lying and flat. As you look around at the river valley you can't help but notice the rich, arable soil, which makes this region the most fertile in the province. Quebec City's skyline is dominated by the massive Château Frontenac Hotel, perched on top of Cap-Diamant. Alongside the Château Frontenac is the Dufferin Terrace, a walkway along the edge of the cliff, offering beautiful views of the Saint Lawrence River. The Dufferin Terrace leads toward the nearby Plains of Abraham, site of the battle in which the British took Quebec from France.

Me, my camera, and new found friend
Me, my camera, and new found friend

I set off on my visit to old Quebec City with the intention of absorbing all of the history that I could. Armed with my camera and guidebook, I began in the historic Quebec area which is built on a plateau. Because of this topographic feature, the central and oldest area of the city is sometimes divided into upper and lower town. 

photo shoot
Photo Shoot in lower town Quebec City

I was struck by how beautiful and quaint the city is.  Apparently others feel the same way.  It was long before I spotted a professional photo shoot underway.  I was stunned by the beauty of the female model and the way the pleats in her skirt just flowed perfectly.  Then, I realized that the man behind her was part of the photo shoot.  I don't know where the photo will appear but I am thinking it is for Christmas time since they are in red and green.  

Everywhere you look, the streets are lined with colorful buildings.

Space Elephant by Salvador Dali
Space Elephant by Salvador Dali

Sculptures are found throughout the city.  I noticed this brass elephant on spindly, bone-like legs in front of the Château Frontenac. This Salvador Dali sculpture is part of the Galerie d’Art du Château Frontenac’s summer exhibit which ends in October 2017.  Known as the Space Elephant, the work also has an elongated pyramid sitting on its back. 

monument of Samuel Champain
Samuel de Champlain
This monument which honors Samuel Champlain, who founded the city is one of Quebec City's most spectacular landmarks.  The enormous monument was built in 1898, and consists of a stone base that is topped by a statue of Champlain. The four-sided base contains an elaborate sculpture of angels and religious icons, plus plaques in both English and French describing the origin of the statue and Champlain's accomplishments.  It is located on Dufferin Terrace - a central location near the Chateau Frontenac. It's a busy gathering space where thousands of locals and tourists converge to see the sights and enjoy the street performers and entertainers. 

This mural on the side of a building is incredibly detailed and lifelike.

Old Town Quebec City

When it comes to innovation I had to smile.  What fun to see these colorful balls strung across this old street!

Street Performer

Later in the day, I paused to listen to this street performer playing his harp and singing.  He has a great life.  He spends half of the year in Chile where he from and the other half here.  I am guessing he is in Chile in Canada's winter!

Everywhere you look in the city you will spot lovely flowers.

old doors and windows
Even the old doors and windows are appealing and interesting.  They are part of the charm of this old city.

Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral
Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral
Churches dominate the city and contain wonderful works of art, many of which help to tell the history of Quebec,  Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral is the first church in the New World to be raised to a basilica.  It is a must see.

The connection between the first settlers to the New World and the New Nations is portrayed in this stained glass found in a local church.

Modern city of Quebec
Modern city of Quebec
The modern part of the city is enriched by art also.  This mural really livens up this gray building.

I don't know the background of this sculpture suspended over water but I love it!

by BayMoonDesign

Tree Necklace by BayMoonDesign
Tree Necklace by BayMoonDesign

I try to take a trip in the Fall to gather inspiration for my new line of jewelry.  This tree necklace was inspired by my trip to Glacier National Park in Montana last year.  The glaciers inspired the blue, black and white color palette.  The single leaf speaks to the leaves falling from the trees as winter approaches and the bare trees dominate the landscape.  It is available for purchase in my BayMoonDesign store.  I don't know what this trip will inspire yet because it isn't over.  I have lots of ideas floating in my mind.  What are your thoughts about what you have seen of Quebec?

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