Chateau Frontenac: Castle Towering Over Quebec

Chateau Frontenac, officially known as the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, is a 130-year-old hotel in Quebec, Canada. It is nearly 80 meters tall and it towers over the historic district of the town of Old Quebec. Moreover, the hotel has been on the Canadian National Heritage list since 1981.

chateau frontenac over quebec street
Francois Prevost

Until the 18th century, a big portion of Canada was a colony under French rule. Although the British took control of the country, the French influence has never faded. In fact, Quebec is the only officially French-speaking city and the only region with a majority of French speakers in the Americas.

chateau frontenac on top of the houses
Urban Guide Quebec

The British governor-general of Quebec in the late 19th century wanted to turn Quebec to its 17th-century appearance. Chateau Frontenac was one of the first steps of his attempt. Although the hotel was not given a permit at first and the construction stopped constantly, in 1893, the hotel opened its doors for the first time.

chateau frontenac from above

Chateau Frontenac got its name from Louis de Frontenac, the governor-general of New France in the late 17th century. Frontenac was a very important figure for the French-speaking portion of Canada as he defended it against outside attacks many times.

the castle exterior close up
Jean-Michael Drolet

The hotel was one of the series of grand railway hotels in Canada. During that time the railway companies started building hotels and the rival companies even competed with each other by building bigger and better ones. The Canadian Pacific Railway, the builders of Chateau Frontenac, preferred to build castle-like hotels, the last of which was built in 1908.

the castle during sunset

Although the construction was over in 1893, the hotel saw many expansions and additions. The central and the tallest tower was added in 1924 which made Chateau Frontenac the tallest structure in Quebec for some time.

chateau frontenac during winter
Brittany Eliza Kunkel

Furthermore, the hotel was home to many historic events as well. During WWII, the Allies met and discussed strategies in the hotel two years in a row. It also has been used as a filming location and was featured in movies and TV shows.

the castle in winter
Brittany Eliza Kunkel

Towering over Quebec for more than a century, Chateau Frontenac is one of the most popular places in Canada. The hotel won the Global Hotel of the Year in 2022 and went into the Guinness Records Book by becoming the most-photographed hotel in the world.

chateau frontenac reflection on water