Québec

The 3rd Fort St. Louis and 1st Château St. Louis

After Occupation, Montmagny
Rebuilt a Third Fort St. Louis
and Built a First Château St. Louis

(1636 to 1688)

The second Governor of New France, Charles Jacques Huault de Montmagny, arrived in Québec City in 1636.

1636 — Aware of the strategic importance of the second Fort St. Louis and of the surrender the Kirke brothers had forced on Champlain in 1629, Montmagny quickly had the ramparts reinforced with stones in place of the wooden fences originally built by Champlain's men. This led to what was considered a third Fort St. Louis. However, this particular work was not finished until several decades later.

1643 — The first series of Franco-Iroquois Wars raged from 1643 to 1667. But they did not lead "per se" to improvements to Québec City's defensive system and to its Fortified Wall. The battles and attacks of these Franco-Iroquois Wars were fought away from Québec City and they arose out of the Iroquois' claim to governing the fur trade.

1648 — Montmagny oversaw the construction of a new residence for the Governor of New France, in the Upper Town, that would replace Champlain's second "Fortified Habitation" in the Lower Town. The first "Château St. Louis", as it was named, was finished during this year. It was a single-level stone building of 86 feet x 24 feet (26.2 meters x 7.3 meters), covered with a shingled roof.


This illustration dating from 1683 gives us an excellent look at the third Fort St. Louis and first Château St. Louis, in the second half of the 17th Century. The first Château St. Louis was a single-level stone building covered with a shingled roof and the third Fort St. Louis already had the shape of a "surrounding" Fortified Wall. It also shows us a much greater use of stones for the walls or "ramparts" of the third Fort St. Louis than was the case with its two earlier constructions.
Image Credit: Library and Archives Canada / Access number 1993-287-149 / ICON101236 / Plan of Fort St. Louis in 1683 / Map by Jean-Baptiste-Louis Franquelin.

1672 — Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac et de Palluau, became Governor of New France from 1672 to 1682, for the first time. He would again be Governor of New France from 1689 to his death, in 1698.

1680 — The layouts of the third Fort St. Louis and first Château St. Louis changed only slightly between 1648 and 1688. Only small changes were made. However, the first Château St. Louis was expanded at the beginning of the 1680s.


This map of Québec City in 1664 gives us a good idea of Montmagny's plan for the future of that city at the time he built the third Fort St. Louis (in 1636) and the first Château St. Louis (in 1648). It is important to note on this plan the alignment of the streets in the Upper Town, with an urban design that made them all converge toward Fort St. Louis. The west side of the city showing a Fortified Wall with many bastions (on top of this map) is something that figures on this plan, but was not realized at that time.
Image Credit: Plan of Québec City by Jean Bourdon in 1664 / Digitizing of a page from the French book "Québec, ville coloniale française en Amérique: 1660 à 1690", by Rémi Chénier, Études en archéologie, Archéologie et histoire, Lieux historiques nationaux, Service des parcs, Environnement Canada, Ottawa, 1991, page 34.
Image Source: fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Plan_Quebec_Bourdon_1664.JPG

1684 — The second series of Franco-Iroquois Wars raged from 1684 to 1701. Just like the first series of Franco-Iroquois Wars, they did not lead "per se" to improvements to Québec City's defensive system and to its Fortified Wall. But after 1684, the Iroquois more clearly became allies of the British. The stage was then set for a major confrontation between the French and their Amerindian allies against the British and their Amerindian allies (essentially the Iroquois). Québec City and its Fortified Wall were destined to be at the center of that upcoming major confrontation.


This is what Québec City looked like in 1688.
Image Credit: Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Centre d'archives de Québec (BAnQ-Québec) / Access number E6, S7, SS1, P6820179 / Engraving by Jean-Baptiste-Louis Franquelin in 1688 / Copy of the original preserved at the Service historique de la marine, Bibliothèque centrale de Vincennes, France, Réf. Vol. 4040 B (6 bis) / Copy at Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Centre d'archives de Québec (BAnQ-Québec) / Reproduced with the permission of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Centre d'archives de Québec (BAnQ-Québec).
Image Source: mcq.org/place-royale/en/themes.php?id=4