Just outside of the Québec city walls is the Hôtel du Parlement, Québec’s parliament building, built in 1886. Tours are free, in either English or French, and take you into both chambers. They last a good 45 minutes.
After going through security, the guide gathered the group in a lobby and explained a bit about the building, how Québec’s parliament works, and gave a short history of the transition from French to British rule. On our way upstairs to the legislative chambers, we passed a restaurant with some gorgeous stained glass windows covering the entrance. The restaurant is used by parliamentarians and staff.
The first chamber we visited was the Salon rouge (Red Room), or the Legislative Council Room. This is where the defunct Legislative Council met until 1968. It’s now used for committee meetings and official state functions.
Next, we were taken to the Salon bleu (Blue Room), or the Assemblée nationale (National Assembly). This is where the legislative body of the Province of Québec meets. It used to be the lower house of the legislative branch of government until the Legislative Council was abolished. Therefore, Québec has a unicameral legislative branch.
After visiting the two chambers, the tour ended. I roamed the grounds a bit before heading back into Old Québec. One highlight is the Fontaine de Tourny, a nice fountain.
Walking back into the historic center of Québec, I admired the Remparts de Québec (city walls) and passed through Porte Saint-Louis, a gate originally built into the walls in 1694. The current gate dates back to 1880. The Remparts de Québec are the only remaining fortified city walls remaining in North America north of Mexico and surround the UNESCO World Heritage site of Vieux-Québec.