Tour the Château Frontenac

Chateau Frontenac
Jeff Frenette Photography

More than a hotel, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is a Québec City icon. For over a century, it has perched atop Cape Diamond overlooking Dufferin Terrace and the St. Lawrence River.

Yes, you can visit the Château Frontenac

You can come inside and admire the recently renovated lobby along with historical artifacts going back 400 years displayed in specially designed cases.

To learn more about this legendary castle, a guided tour is also available. 

In summer, the Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site, hidden under Dufferin Terrace, adjacent to the Château, is open to the public.

Best Views of Château Frontenac

Take a few pictures of your own of this Québec City icon. According to most Québec's residents, the best views are from place des Canotiers (Old Port), Citadelle de Québec, Observatoire de la Capitale, and from the terrace in Lévis (across the river).

 

Château Frontenac History

The Château was the brainchild of William Van Horne, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, who wanted to build a hotel to draw travellers as a way to promote luxury train travel. 

The construction of a dream

  • 1893: Opening of the 170 rooms hotel
  • 1899 to 1924: Addition of 3 wings and the central tower that is close to 80 metres high (260 feet)
  • 1926: The Riverview wing, the original section of the hotel, was destroyed by fire.
  • The Château stands on the Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux archaeological site, which was, for over 200 years, the official residence and seat of the French and British governors.

Destination of choice for celebrities

Many famous people have made the Château Frontenac their residence during their time in Québec City. From Queen Elizabeth II to Céline Dion, via Princess Grace of Monaco, Leonardo DiCaprio, Paul McCartney and Charlie Chaplin, celebrities have made the Château Frontenac their home away from home.

Action!

In 1953 the Château Frontenac was used for the filming of Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess starring Montgomery Clift and Anne Baxter. The Château Frontenac’s manager at the time, George Jessop, plays himself in the film.

A crucial political decision

The First Québec Conference was held at the Château Frontenac in 1943. British prime minister Winston Churchill and American president Franklin D. Roosevelt were hosted by Canadian prime minister Mackenzie King as they agreed on plans for the upcoming allied invasion of occupied Europe.

Did you know?

  • The Château Frontenac is said to be the world’s most photographed hotel.
  • The Château Frontenac was named in honour of Louis de Buade, Compte de Frontenac and governor of New France from 1672 to 1682 and 1689 to 1698.
  • If you went jogging in the hotel, you’d find a total of 12 kilometres of hallways.
  • There are close to 2,000 windows with spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River, the city and the interior gardens.
  • The executive chef collects some 650 litres of honey every year from 4 hives in the Château’s private rooftop garden.
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