Saturday, 23 Jan 2021

The Château Frontenac

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Château Frontenac
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Château Frontenac, or Frontenac Castle (officially called Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac) is a luxury grand hotel in Quebec City. The hotel is located in the historic center of Quebec at Cape Diamant, near the Quebec Citadel, and offers guests stunning panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River and the Old Town. This is one of the main architectural attractions and the visiting card of Quebec, as well as one of the most photographed hotels in the world.

The  city is very popular among tourists. Quebec has the most European look among all the cities of North America. In addition to the castle there is a fortress of the XVII century and an old quarter, which has a great similarity with the old cities of Europe.

From the 16th to the 18th century Quebec was the capital of New France, the French possession in North America. The greatest expansion of the boundaries of the possessions was achieved by the Governor Louis de Buehda, who is known as the Count de Frontenac and is considered the founder of Canada.

The Château Frontenac - photo 1
Court de Frontenac

However, the history of the castle of Frontenac or Château Frontenac is not so ancient. Initially, in its place was the residence for the colonial rulers (in the 1620s). However, it lasted not so long, and look was incomparable with the current castle. A little later, at the end of the 18th century, Chateau-Haldemend was erected in its place, which also did not last a long time (it was demolished, as soon as the building passed 100 years later).

Its origin is due to the Canadian Pacific Railway. The company hired a famous New York architect Bruce Price. He was already familiar with the architecture of Quebec: some time ago he worked on the building of the railway station. The future hotel Château Frontenac reflected modern trends in architecture – hence its unusual and such majestic look.

According to the idea of the company, which was engaged in the construction of the hotel Château Frontenac, he had to enter the series of several Canadian hotels along the railroad route, so that wealthy tourists traveling in this way would stop there. The idea was successful – immediately after the opening of the castle Frontenac became one of the most visited places in Canada.

The Château Frontenac - photo 2
Château Frontenac

Frontenac Castle was one of the first hotels in the elegant “chateau” style, built in the late 19th – early 20th century. In 1894 another wing was built, new buildings were also erected in 1908-1909 and 1913. The wing of St. Louis and the central tower were built in 1920-1924 on the design of Canadian architect William Sutherland Maxwell. In 1926, the hotel Château Frontenac was seriously damaged by a violent fire, but was quickly restored. In 1993, the Claude-Pratte wing was built with a magnificent outdoor terrace, a fitness center and an indoor swimming pool. Nowadays it looks wonderful too.

The Château Frontenac - photo 3

However, this is nothing more than a brilliantly realized idea of an architect who decided to build a castle Château Frontenac on top of a small cliff, which makes it visually much higher and larger than it really is. In the same city there are higher buildings, but this decision helped to create the famous silhouette of the chateau, which with such pleasure is  printed on its stamps by residents of the city.

Its name was given to the castle of Frontenac in honor of the French commander and governor of New France, who lived at the end of the 17th century – Louis de Beyad de Frontenac, Count Frontenac and Pallio.

During the Second World War it was the Château Frontenac that became the venue for the famous Quebec conferences (1943 and 1944), and in 1953 – one of the film sets of the film “I Confess” by the world-famous American and British film director Alfred Hitchcock.

In 1981, the Château Frontenac received the status of the National Historical Monument of Canada.

The Château Frontenac - photo 4
Château Frontenac

Château Frontenac is located in the historic center of the city. The Grand Hotel Château Frontenac is in harmony with the local color and other structures of the quarter. The castle has numerous turrets and a monumental facade. Above the entrance arch you can see the family coat of arms of the count. In its history, many celebrities have visited it: Charles de Gaulle, Queen Elizabeth, Princess of Monaco, Ronald Reagan, Jacques Chirac, Alfred Hitchcock, etc.

It is known that the attraction of the hotel Château Frontenac is due to its convenient location and the highest quality of service. A sufficient number of eminent hotels of light can boast of such paramount circumstances. However, not all strike the attention of others with their luxurious look. And it is the inimitable architecture that counts Grand Hotel Château Frontenac to the visiting card and easily recognizable sights not only of the Canadian city of Quebec, but of the country as a whole.

Rent a room in a grand hotel Château Frontenac , whose building is very much like Hogwarts – the school of sorcerers from “Harry Potter”, affordable for wealthy guests. Very often rich travelers live here, as well as celebrities who come to various business in Quebec. In former years, the Château Frontenac, for example, has repeatedly held meetings between the leaders of the United Kingdom and the United States – Winston Churchill Franklin and  Franklin Roosevelt. From November to April, the prices for a stay in one of the hotel rooms are significantly reduced, which will allow average tourists  to stay at the hotel too.

The Château Frontenac - photo 5
hotel rooms

The castle hotel Château Frontenac , towering above the historic Old Québec area, for obvious reasons is closed to the wide access of tourists. Sometimes, on the initiative of the hotel itself, costumed excursions are carried out on some parts of the building, but such events happen infrequently. However, ingenious tourists came up with a way to look at the interior of the hotel and stroll through the lobby, decorated with a 300-year-old stone from the castle of Saint-Louis with the image of the Maltese cross. To do this, you need to visit the cozy bars and restaurants of Château Frontenac, or look into the hotel’s specialty shops.

This is not surprising, because every detail is made with amazing grace and luxury. Here you can meet majestic fireplaces, openwork staircases, snow-white curtains and unique lamps. Most of the interior details are made of marble, because of which the decoration of the castle takes on a special luster.

The Château Frontenac - photo 6
lobby of Château Frontenac

If for the hotel guests the decoration of their chambers is not enough, the owners provided an opportunity to let visitors feel themselves royalty. Not for nothing, in the hotel’s services there are separate excursions of guides dressed in costumes of the XIX century, as well as walks with real well-trained guide dogs.

However, the Château Frontenac has such a wonderful architecture that a walk around the building itself will also bring considerable pleasure. The massive towers of the hotel with its copper-tinted copper roofs, its bright facade made of matching gray stones and orange bricks, beautiful views of the old district and the mighty St. Lawrence River – all this makes millions of tourists to capture Château Frontenac in the photo again and again.

Nowadays, Château Frontenac is not only one of the most unusual tourist destinations on the planet, but also has a record, entered in the Guinness Book, as the most photographed hotel in the world. Looking at this huge city towering over the old city, indeed, you can not refrain from the desire to photograph  Château Frontenac as quickly as possible from all possible angles. Therefore it is not surprising that it affects not only its guests, but also all tourists who were fortunate enough to be at its foothills.




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