In the last 15 years, a number of fresco paintings have popped up across Quebec City, becoming a real tourist attraction and a major component of the city's urban heritage. The murals, which depict the history of the city and its inhabitants, were commissioned between 1999 and 2008 to celebrate 400 years of the city’s existence. Although the pieces are fairly recent, they have nonetheless become part of the city's artistic and cultural heritage.
La Fresque des Québécois was the first mural to be completed in 1999 and is located near Place Royale, on the wall of Soumande House on Notre-Dame Street. The 420 square meters mural pays homage to the history of Quebec City by depicting a number of its key figures, such as Samuel de Champlain (the French explorer and founder of Quebec), Marie Guyart de l'Incarnation, Lord Dufferin and Félix Leclerc. It also features a number of the city's most notable architectural monuments such as Place Royale's historic homes, the stairs connecting upper and lower town, the walls surrounding Old Quebec, and cultural elements such as the city's coat of arms, and Bonhomme Carnaval. Finally, the mural celebrates the various cultural communities that were and are part of life in the capital, namely Amerindians, French and British settlers, and Irish immigrants.
La Fresque du Petit-Champlain is located at 102 Petit-Champlain Street, at the western most tip of the historic lower town. The mural, created in 2001, depicts the major stages in the history of Cap-Blanc, a working-class port neighbourhood in Quebec. The mural portrays the fishing and sea trade activities, the fascinating stories behind some of the city’s famous characters and a number of major historical events such as a devastating fire in 1682, a military attack in 1759, and landslides in 1889.
La Fresque de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, covering an area of 420 square meters, is painted over the exterior wall of the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, the oldest hospital of North America. The mural shows the evolution of practitioners, techniques and buildings throughout more than 400 years of history. It was inaugurated in 2003.
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