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Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux
National Historic Site

Archeological Discoveries

Pierre Cloutier and Jacques Guimont – Archaeologists

Rewarding digs

The archeological research project currently underway at the Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site of Canada began in June 2005. The final exploratory campaign was conducted in the summer of 2007.

The three digs confirmed the site's historical significance. Many architectural remains were excavated:

  • Fortification elements associated with the four Saint-Louis forts
  • Remains of the basements of the two Saint-Louis Châteaux
  • Remains of several outbuildings constructed in the yard in front of the château and in the south yard.
Part of the Dufferin Terrace Part of the Dufferin Terrace, in front the Château Frontenac Hotel; archeological digs to the southern yard of the former Château Saint-Louis
© Parks Canada / P. Cloutier

Among other things, the digs revealed an impressive number of objects that bear witness to the daily lives of the governors and their immediate court, from the occupation by Samuel de Champlain and his men in 1620, until the Château Saint-Louis burned in 1834.

Major Discovery Under The Dufferin Terrace

Parks Canada Archaeologists Discover Champlain's Living Quarters Under The Dufferin Terrace

Information summarized from: News Release, August 24, 2007.

The base of the foundation's southwestern corner was buried in nearly six metres of earth, and concealed under the remains of later constructions. The discovery was part of the latest series of excavations under the Dufferin Terrace boardwalk.

This find provides archaeologists with information about the building Champlain died in, back in 1635. The discovery of what could be considered 'Champlain's last home' is highly significant. It adds to previous discoveries of many objects from the same period and of other vestiges that reveal the features of the early Saint-Louis Forts.

This discovery shows that the Dufferin Terrace is simply an expanded version of the terrace built by the founder of Quebec City. The governors who came after Champlain all maintained this terrace behind Château Saint-Louis. Therefore, the Dufferin Terrace could be seen as a legacy from the founder of Quebec City.

Champlain's Dwelling Champlain's Dwelling
© Jean-Sébastien Plante/Parks Canada
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