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Ten fun facts about Quebec City

  1. Quebec City (pop. 516,622) is the capital of Quebec.

  2. The official language of Quebec (pop. 7.8 million) is French.

  3. French explorer Samuel de Champlain (1567-1635) founded the city on July 3, 1608.

  4. The Ursuline Convent of Quebec City, founded in 1639, is the oldest educational institution for women in North America.

  5. As part of a program by King Louis XIV, about 800 young French women immigrated to Quebec between 1663 and 1673 in order to correct the severe imbalance between single men and women in New France and to boost the population. As a result, the population grew from about 3,200 in 1663 to about 6,700 in 1672. Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, and Madonna are among the notable descendants of these filles du roi ("king's daughters").

  6. The Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 was a decisive conflict of the Seven Years’ War (also known as the French and Indian War), in which the French permanently lost Quebec City to the British.

  7. Benedict Arnold attempted to lead an invasion of Quebec City in September 1775 as part of a Continental Army initiative aimed at gaining control of Quebec and convincing the Canadiens to join the American Revolution. The attack was unsuccessful.

  8. Old Quebec City is a UNESCO world heritage site.

  9. Quebec City is the only remaining walled city in North America north of Mexico.

  10. Bonhomme ("good-humored fellow") is the Quebec Winter Carnival ambassador. The carnival attracts thousands of visitors and will take place from January 31 to February 16 in 2014.

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