The Battlefields Park
Just south of the historic center of Québec City, the Battlefields Park is one of the most important historic sites in Canada
. Here, the dream of New France—a more than 200-year-long project by the French to colonize North America—was dealt a fatal blow. In 1759, during the Seven Years' War, British forces under General Wolfe defeated the French troops led by General Montcalm. The battle on the Plains of Abraham lasted roughly 30 minutes. (The very biblical sounding name, by the way, comes from the fact that the land where the two armies clashed was owned by a farmer, Abraham Martin.) After defeating Montcalm (who died in the battle), the British took control of Québec City. By 1760, all of France's territory in North America had fallen to the British, and in 1763, the French officially ceded their claims. History buffs make a beeline to this national historic site, but Québec residents mostly consider it a lovely urban oasis of 255 acres alongside the St. Lawrence River. In the summer, it's the setting of outdoor concerts; in the winter, there's an ice-skating rink (free of charge, and skates are available for rent) from mid-December to mid-March.