Built in 1893 by the Canadian Pacific railway company, the Château Frontenac dominates the skyline of Quebec City. A towering structure with over 600 rooms and an unforgettable profile that reigns over the walls of the Old Town, this is thought to be the world’s most photographed hotel. I wouldn’t doubt it. The Frontenac so large and central that it will be part of the backdrop in nearly every picture you’ll take of Quebec City.
It doesn’t matter which angle you’re admiring it from, Quebec City is stunning. We had a chance to see two of the best views of the city: from the water, during a short ferry trip across the St. Lawrence River, and from the sky, in the 31st-floor observatory of the city’s tallest building.
Only two cities in North America have preserved their original fortifications. One is Campeche, Mexico, which we visited while living in the Yucatán. And now that we’ve been to Quebec City, our exploration of North America’s Fortified Cities is complete. We went on a walk around Old Quebec’s ancient walls, ending up at the Citadel, which was built by the British between 1820 and 1850.
Montreal might be Quebec’s largest and most important city, but it’s not the capital of the province. That would be Quebec City, three hours to the north along the St. Lawrence River. The only city in Canada or the USA which has retained its original fortifications, Quebec City makes for a perfect getaway from Montreal.