The Mendel Guides

Discover the remarkable heritage of Quebec City with David Mendel’s cultural guide books.

Quebec – Mendel Guide 1

World Heritage City

In 1985, Quebec City’s historic district became the first urban ensemble in North America to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. With its spectacular cliff-top location overlooking the St. Lawrence River, its fortifications, narrow winding streets and wealth of historic buildings spanning four centuries, Quebec is unlike any other city on the continent.

In this fascinating guide, Quebec’s dramatic history is placed in an international context and in-depth information is combined with exceptional photographs to reveal the meaning and beauty of each site. An outline of the history of every major location is followed by a step-by-step visual exploration, in which general exterior and interior views are followed by photographs of selected objects, symbols and architectural elements.

Quebec – Mendel Guide 2

Birthplace Of New France

Quebec, founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608, became the capital of New France in 1663. This fortress city and inland seaport served as a crucial control point, linking the Atlantic world with the vast network of navigable rivers and lakes that were the lifeblood of the French empire in North America.

This is the second book in the Mendel Guides series, a richly-illustrated collection of volumes that offers an inspiring new vision of Quebec, declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO in 1985. After exploring the upper town in the first volume Quebec, World Heritage City, architectural historian David Mendel and photographer Luc-Antoine Couturier now take us down to the lower town, to discover a wealth of history, architecture and art in the port sector, by the shores of the St. Lawrence River. Evidence of Quebec’s evolution as a maritime city remains visible at almost every corner, waiting to be discovered by the observant eye. It is a story that is told in brick and stone.

The Seminary of Quebec

A Living Heritage

In 1663, François de Laval founded the Seminary of Quebec, a community of diocesan priests who would help him establish a new Church in North America. For 350 years, inspired by the foresight and vision of their founder, the priests of the Seminary have adapted to changing circumstances, taken on new tasks, and at times faced disasters that threatened the very survival of their institution.

Over the centuries, the Seminary of Quebec has maintained and preserved an exceptional architectural and natural heritage, both in the city and in the countryside. This book presents a visual history of the Seminary, with a special focus on its historic buildings and properties. The legacy of the Seminary of Quebec – its role in the establishment of the Catholic Church, in founding important educational institutions, and in the development of French culture in North America – is nothing less than remarkable.


A Tradition of Hospitality

The Manoir Richelieu hotel and country inns of Charlevoix are familiar to visitors, but the private world of the summer houses and gardens of the area remains mysterious for most. In this new book in the Mendel Guides series, authors François Tremblay, David Mendel and Judy Bross provide a fascinating history and exploration of summer resort life in the region. Short informative texts, captivating stories and anecdotes are illustrated with historic images and more than 100 new photographs by Luc-Antoine Couturier of summer homes, their gardens, and the magnificent Charlevoix landscape.

You are invited to take a vicarious tour of some of these hidden properties that date from the golden era of summer resort life, when prominent Canadian and American visitors, including the President of the United States, William Howard Taft, arrived by steamboat to spend their vacations in the summer homes they built. Discover a remarkable heritage that is very much worth preserving.

Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, constructed between 1800 and 1804, was the first Anglican cathedral to be built outside the British Isles.

With superb stained glass windows, magnificent Communion silver given by King George III, and monuments worthy of Westminster Abbey, it is a quintessentially English church in the heart of Old Quebec.

Le Château Frontenac

In the Heart of Old Quebec

The Château Frontenac is the unrivaled symbol of Quebec City. With its dramatic silhouette, perched high on the cliff of Cap-aux-Diamants, this great castle-like edifice is recognized by people on every continent. It is said to be the most photographed hotel in the world. Few buildings have such iconic power. The Château Frontenac is to Quebec City and Canada, what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris and France.

The Château Frontenac is the ideal location from which to explore the old walled city that surrounds it. The towers and turrets of the hotel provide spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River and the upper and lower towns. Within a five-minute walk in any direction, one can reach an astonishing array of historic sites, institutions and buildings spanning four centuries.

The Seminary of Quebec

Souvenir Guide Book

This souvenir guide book, offered courtesy of the Seminary of Quebec on the occasion of its 350th anniversary, takes you on a visual tour of some of the most important buildings of this historic institution. It is a remarkable heritage.