Who is Frontenac?
Did you ever ask yourself where the name of the famous hotel, Chateau Frontenac, comes from? Who is Frontenac?
It takes its name from Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac. This now famous hotel sits on the site of what was once Fort St-Louis. He was a fierce governor and probably the best to rule in the 1600s.
Once the city was under siege by Admiral Phipps, an envoy was sent to Frontenac to demand surrender. The envoy was rowed in from the ship but blindfolded as soon as he landed in Lower Town.
On his way up to Fort St Louis, in Upper Town, the envoy heard tramping of what sounded like thousands of troops. He heard horses and guns being wheeled about and hundreds of drums beating.
It sounds like the whole French army was in Quebec. However, it was only the small band of soldiers, the same horses and gun carriages who kept circling past him – a ruse of Frontenac’s. When his blindfold was removed he found himself in an enormous room where the Governor was taking tea, apparently, completely unconcerned about the British siege.
Returning to Phipps, the envoy brought back a most discouraging report and soon after Phipp’s abandoned the siege and sailed away.
Frontenac left an indelible mark on the city and it is quite appropriate for his name to appear on one of the most famous buildings in the world.
Make sure to see this hotel as part of your next class trip to Quebec with your French class.