Two châteaux

Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site


The first Château

The first Château was built by governor Charles Huault de Montmagny in 1648.

The fort and chateau St. Louis The fort and Château St. Louis by Jean-Baptiste Franquelin in 1683
© Library and Archives Canada, H4/350, Québec, 1683.

Champlain's former corps de logis was razed and materials recuperated for the governor to construct a single-storey stone building 28 metres long by about eight metres wide. The river side of the building had a terrace for receiving dignitaries and other guests. In the late 1680s, despite expansion work, the château was in an advanced state of disrepair.

The second Château

Beginning in 1694, the count of Frontenac, who was governor, began reconstruction work, building on the foundation of Montmagny's former Château. The new building had two stories and a slate roof. It was extended by about seven meters in 1700.

The chateau St. Louis The Château St. Louis, anonymous, ca. 1700.
© Library and Archives Canada, C-4696.

Between 1719 and 1723, work was completed by adding a new pavilion and two wings. The structure was then worthy of a 17th century French château due to its symmetry, balance, and pavilion roof. The building retained its terrace.

The chateau according to Chaussegros de Lery The Château according to Chaussegros de Lery, 1723
© Library and Archives Canada, C-1575

The second Château suffered the throes of bombardment in 1759. Located atop the cliff, it was a choice target for British artillerymen. In 1766, according to residents of rue Sous-le-Fort, located just below the château, it risked falling into ruins. Only the southern two-thirds of the building were repaired. The terrace overlooking the river wasn't reconstructed until 1775-1777.

The chateau according to James Hunter The Château according to James Hunter, ca. 1775
© Library and Archives Canada, C-1506

The northern third of the building was rebuilt only in 1798.

Governor Haldimand divided his time between the château Saint-Louis and a new building he commissioned next to Place d'Armes, located by the old ramparts below the current Château Frontenac. The new building, which was named after him, incorporated a former powder magazine converted into a kitchen, so that the building was Y-shaped. It was constructed with stone between 1784 and 1787 and featured three floors and a simple architecture.

Haldimand's and Saint-Louis Château Haldimand's and Saint-Louis château, ca. 1800
© Parks Canada, Duberger and By model

Governor James Craig devoted the building to administration. For his accommodations, he restored the second château Saint-Louis, between 1808 and 1811, adding a third floor. Its décor and composition featured a neo-Classical style, with pediments, porch columns, Palladian windows, a central door, gambrel roof, symmetry of design, and smaller windows on the top floor. On January 23, 1834, the building fell victim to fire.

The ruins of the chateau The ruins of the Château, ca. 1836
© Library and Archives Canada, C-1038

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