Château Frontenac

Quebec City, Canada

The Château Frontenac is a grand hotel in Quebec, Canada. The hotel is generally recognized as the most photographed hotel in the world, largely for its prominence in the skyline of Quebec City. The current hotel capacity is more than 600 rooms on 18 floors.

The Château Frontenac was designed by American architect Bruce Price, as one of a series of 'château' style hotels built for the Canadian Pacific Railway company (CPR) during the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the newer portions of the hotel, including the central tower (1924), were designed by Canadian architect William Sutherland Maxwell. CPR's policy was to promote luxury tourism by appealing to wealthy travellers. The Château Frontenac opened in 1893, six years after the Banff Springs Hotel, which was owned by the same company and is similar in style.

The Château Frontenac was named after Louis de Buade, Count of Frontenac, who was governor of the colony of New France from 1672 to 1682 and 1689 to 1698. The Château was built near the historic Citadelle, the construction of which Frontenac had begun at the end of the 17th century. The Quebec Conference of 1943, at which Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Lyon Mackenzie King discussed strategy for World War II, was held at the Château Frontenac while much of the staff stayed nearby at the Citadelle.

Although several of Quebec City's buildings are taller, the landmark hotel is perched atop a tall cape overlooking the Saint Lawrence River, affording a spectacular view for several kilometers. The building is the most prominent feature of the Quebec City skyline as seen from across the Saint Lawrence.

The World War II Allies' Quebec Conferences of 1943 and 1944 were held at the Château.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1893
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Canada

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martin Martino (2 years ago)
I love this place. Try to get a room high in the hotel, looking over the St. Lawrence. It's not as old as it looks - this beauty - but it really has the feel of a Chateau. The location - high overlooking the River - tucked into Old Quebec - just cannot be beaten. The Old City is one of the few places in North America with an "Old World" vibe, and the Chateau's soaring presence is part of that mystique. The hotel has all the amenities you would expect - and though Quebec City is very much a French-speaking city, you'll get excellent service in both French and English at the hotel (and most places in the Old City).
Kerry Watterson (2 years ago)
This was our first time as a family in Quebec City. We can from the States for spring break, in March! We decided to splurge and stay at the world-famous Chateau Frontenac, and we were not disappointed! We stayed in a Family Suite overlooking the river, and the room was big and airy with great views. The staff was wonderful, courteous and friendly. The concierge helped us choose restaurants for our liking and even made the reservations for us. All in all, a delightful 5 night stay! We will be back!
Anita H (2 years ago)
Excellent and courteous staff! Everyone here is so pleasant. The hotel is beautiful and close proximity to everything. We ate at Le Sam restaurant, good food and amazing service! Valet parking is very efficient and well organized. Rooms are clean.
Brian Ross (2 years ago)
Stayed here with my wife for our baby-moon. When we mentioned this, they upgraded our room to a deluxe room with a better view. The service was top notch and the room and view was beautiful. We had breakfast at the restaurant and the food and service was amazing there too. Would definitely recommend if you want a classy Quebec city experience. We will be returning!
Koray Korkmaz (2 years ago)
Definitely the best hotel in Quebec City. It's the most photographed hotel in the world for a reason. The hotel itself is picturesque and the views from the hotel is stunning! I strongly suggest to book a room with a river view. The staff were very helpful and the prices weren't expensive during winter. The parking is also very convenient as you don't have to park your car yourself which was a big plus for me. The hotel is being operated by the Fairmont group and they do a great job.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.