Hôtel du Parlement

Historic Building in Québec City

Image by RENAULT Philippe / hemis.fr Getty Images

Home to Québec's Provincial Legislature, the Parliament building is a Second Empire structure completed in 1886. Free 30-minute tours, offered in English and French year-round, get you into the National Assembly Chamber, the Legislative Council Chamber and the Speakers’ Gallery. The facade is decorated with 23 bronze statues of significant provincial historical figures, including explorer Samuel de Champlain (1570–1635), early New France governor Louis de Buade Frontenac (1622–98) and the legendary generals James Wolfe (1727–59) and Louis-Joseph Montcalm (1712–59).

On the grounds are more recent figures in Québec’s tumultuous history, including Maurice Duplessis (1890–1959), who kept a stranglehold on the province during his 20-year-long premiership. The grounds are also used for staging events during Winter Carnival. Note the flower-trimmed fountain facing the grounds, installed in 2008 to celebrate Québec City’s 400th anniversary. It’s a fine vantage point for photographing the building.