Quebec City, also known as Ville de Québec in French, is the capital city of Canada's Quebec province, located in the southern part of the province on the St. Lawrence River, about 3 hours east of Montreal. Settled by the French in the 1600s, Quebec has maintained its ties to France in that the official language is French and its culture continues to be very European. Quebec City was the first city in Canada to be established with goals of being a permanent settlement instead of a commercial outpost like St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador or Port Royal Nova Scotia. In 1535 the French explorer Jacques Cartier built a fort where he stayed for a year. He returned in 1541 to build a permanent settlement but it was abandoned in 1542. On July 3, 1608, Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec City and by 1665, there were over 500 people living there. In 1759, Quebec City was taken over by the British who controlled it until 1760 when France was able to get back control. In 1763 however, France ceded New France, which included Quebec City, to Great Britain. During the American Revolution, the Battle of Quebec took place in an effort to liberate the city from British control. However, revolutionary troops were defeated, which led to the splitting of British North America, instead of having Canada join the Continental Congress to become a part of the United States. Around this same time, the U.S. began to annex some Canadian lands, so construction of the Citadel of Quebec began in 1820 to protect the city. In 1840, the Province of Canada was formed and the city served as its capital for several years. In 1867, Ottawa was chosen to be the capital of the Dominion of Canada. In 2002, Quebec City annexed several nearby towns and because of its large size, the city is divided into 34 districts and six boroughs (the districts are included also in the six boroughs). The climate is ever changing, but most of the city is considered humid continental. The summers are warm and humid, while winters are very cold and often windy.
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