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Québec Citadel Classified Federal Heritage Building

Québec, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/06/29

General view of the Québec Citadel, 1993.; Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parks Canada, H., 1993.
General View.
Québec Citadel Classified Federal Heritage Building; Energy, Mines, & Resources (1929).
Aerial View
Arial view of the Québec Citadel, 1976.; Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada.
Arial view.

Other Name(s)

Québec Citadel Complex
Québec Citadel Classified Federal Heritage Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1819/01/01 to 1831/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/04

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Located on the heights of Cap-Aux-Diamants overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the Citadel of Quebec is a fortified enclosure of 37 acres built in a polygonal, star-shaped plan. It includes four bastions, or wall projections and three straight curtain walls situated along the three fronts facing Quebec and the Plains of Abraham. The ground gently slopes down from the walls towards the Plains of Abraham and the town. The Citadel contains 24 permanent masonry structures, mostly of grey cut stone, none more than two-storeys high, mostly rectilinear in design and the majority have hipped roofs. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Citadel of Quebec is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
The Citadel is associated with the defence of New France, then British North America, and finally of Canada. Under both the French and English regimes, the Citadel of Quebec was pivotal for the defence of the colony. Since its construction the citadel’s role has expanded to become the second residence of the Governor General of Canada, it has been the site for major conferences and is the official home of the Royal 22nd Regiment. Its original construction, the subsequent economic benefits, and the resulting influx of personnel had a significant impact on the city of Quebec and its environs.

Architectural Value:
The Citadel of Quebec is an excellent example of a specialized defensive military structure. Neoclassical influences are evident in the architecture of the Citadel where the idea of permanence, tradition and authority it helped to convey would have been deemed appropriate. Built to intimidate as well to be functional, its shape reflects the influence of the Vauban plan, the site topography and the strategic requirements of the building. Its specialized features, the system of controlled access, the solid construction techniques and its use of materials express its excellent functional design. It is also one of the best examples of a structure inspired by the French military architect Vauban.

Environmental Value:
Located within the historic district of Quebec, the Citadel has been subject to ongoing construction and change yet it retains its original physical relationship to the fortifications of the city as a whole. The Citadel reinforces the present character of the coastal defence and military setting of the area and is well known symbol of the city and region.

Rhona Goodspeed, Quebec Citadel, Quebec, Quebec. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 88-161
L’Ensemble, La Citadelle, Québec, Québec. Heritage Character Statement 88-161

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Quebec Citadelle should be respected, for example:

Its functional military defence design inspired by the Vauban plan, and good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in

-The low, plain, polygonal massing with its uneven star shape pattern.
-The solid masonry construction.
-The four bastions, and the three integral curtain walls facing the town and the Plains of Abraham, and also the ditch surrounding these works.
-The huge triangular earth ravelins pointing away from the fortress.
-The two counterguards, built into the ditch.
-The glacis, or open space in front of the ditch on all sides where the ground slopes down gently towards the Plains of Abraham and the town.
-The simplified walls running along the cliffs 300 feet above the river.
-The 24 permanent masonry structures within the Citadel, mostly of grey cut stone, none more than two-storeys high, mostly rectilinear in design, the majority with hipped roofs.
-The designs ranging from plain to a restrained elegance and displaying a marked similarity of appearance.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Military Defence Installation


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

Aerial view

Québec Citadel National Historic Site of Canada

The Québec Citadel National Historic Site of Canada is the 19th-century fortress located on Cap Diamant in the centre of Québec City. This great stone fortress sits with its back…


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