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.

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Details

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

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martin Martino (36 days 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 (38 days 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 (44 days 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 months 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 months 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.
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The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.