As Samuel de Champlain sailed up the St. Lawrence River in 1608, the marvellous natural protection offered by Cap-aux-Diamants became obvious. So it wasn't surprising that he chose what is the current location of Québec City to establish a trading post. Over time, engineers who worked on the city’s fortifications took the hilltop setting into account in their planning and focused their efforts on the west side of the town that was not protected by a steep, natural escarpment.
The walls bear witness to the important defensive system put in place in Québec City from 1608 to 1871. They are authentic, and were restored and reinforced with respect for their original structure. In the Historic District of Old Québec, there is plenty of evidence of this legendary stronghold from the past.