Québec, birthplace of New France

Mendel Guides

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One of the best conceived historical guidebooks I’ve ever seen
— Christopher Moore, historian and author
An enchantment for the eyes
— Le Soleil, Didier Fessou

David Mendel

Photograph : Luc-Antoine Couturier

A New vision of Quebec City

- Original and inspiring content / a unique approach /fascinating and spectacular

- Over 200 previously unpublished photographs and historic illustrations

- Short informative texts filled with anecdotes and captivating stories

- A reference and a veritable« classic » on the city of Quebec

- Practical144-page format (16 pages longer than volume 1) including a map to easily situate the reader

- Also available in French under the title: QUÉBEC, berceau de l’Amérique française

A visual feast

Illustrated with exceptional photographs by Luc-Antoine Couturier, the Mendel Guides are a visual feast. Each chapter opens with a large, previously unpublished photograph, followed by informative texts and exclusive images that reveal the past and present appearance of each site and explore specific themes. The author, David Mendel, offers readers an absorbing historical account and fascinating anecdotes. His texts, written in a clear, accessible language, are closely linked with inspiring photographs and illustrations.

Birthplace of New France

Founded in 1608, Quebec, the Capital of New France, was destined to play a crucial role as one of the great port cities of North America – both as an Atlantic port and as a gateway to the great inland river systems of the continent.

In this second volume of the Mendel Guides, we descend the Côte de la Montagne to the lower town to discover a wealth of history, architecture and art. Richly illustrated with historic and contemporary images, the book takes readers into the interiors of significant buildings and provides spectacular views of the city and the St. Lawrence River, often from angles that have never been photographed before.

Discover the site where Samuel de Champlain built his first habitation in 1608, and Place Royale, where French merchants constructed fine residences during the 17th and 18th centuries. Learn how, under British rule, Quebec became one of the most important port cities on the continent. Explore waterfront docks, and 19th century banks and warehouses. Discover the remarkable interiors of Notre-Dame des Victoires, the Musée de la Civilisation and the Auberge St-Antoine, a remarkable hotel/Museum that is also an important archaeological site.


Old Post Office (Louis St-Laurent building) – Laval Monument – Côte de la Montagne – Fresque des Québécois – Place Royale – Notre-Dame des Victoires – Batterie Royale – Place de Paris – Maison  Chevalier – Rue St-Pierre – Place de la FAO – Auberge St-Antoine – Musée de la Civilisation – At the Base of the Cliff (Pointe à Carcy and Rue St-Paul

A unique series of guidebooks

Architectural historian, expert guide and renowned speaker, David Mendel proposes a new way to discover Quebec’s Old City. In this second volume in the Mendel Guides series QUEBEC, birthplace of New France, he takes the series to another another level. This beautiful guide is unique both in approach and content, offering an exploration of each site as if the reader were on a veritable guided tour. Richly illustrated with photographs by Luc-Antoine Couturier, it offers privileged access to little-known sites and features spectacular, hitherto unpublished views of the Old City.  A wealth of images illustrates a fascinating historical narrative which provides a remarkable introduction to the cultural influences that have marked the evolution of Quebec City since 1608.

QUEBEC, birthplace of New France will captivate both visitors and residents of the city alike.

Critics heaped praises on the first volume, recipient of the Prix Cultura and the Translation Award, Quebec Writers’ Federation:

« A super beautiful guide » Radio-Canada, Catherine Lachaussée

« Unlike other guides » Radio-Canada, Réjean Lemoine

« This book absolutely makes one want to return to our beautiful capital city » Rythme FM, Michel Loiselle

« Through this book I rediscovered the Old City » Radio-Canada, Isabelle Guilbault

« This luminous book » Cap-aux-Diamants, Yves Laberge

« This book gives us a different perspective on the city of Quebec » Journal Metro, Vincent Fortier

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David Mendel

David Mendel, President of Mendel Tours, is an architectural historian and renowned speaker. He has often guided heads of state visiting Quebec City, and has organized tours and seminars for more than 25 years. A resident of Quebec’s historic district since 1976, he is President of the Foundation of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity – the first Anglican Cathedral built outside the British Isles – and a member of the Consulting Committee for Religious Architecture of the City of Quebec.

Other Mendel guides