The Parliament Building (Hôtel du Parlement) is home to the Parliament of Quebec composed of the Lieutenant-Governor and the National Assembly. The building was designed by architect Eugène-Étienne Taché and was built from 1877 to 1886. With the frontal tower, the building stands at 52 metres or 171 feet in height. Inspired by the Louvre, the building most representative of Second Empire style architecture, Taché’s imposing work is unique in North America.
It features the Second Empire style that was popular for prestigious public buildings both in Europe and the United States during the second half of the nineteenth century. Although somewhat more sober in appearance and lacking a towering central belfry, Quebec City’s Parliament Building bears a definite likeness to the Philadelphia City Hall, another Second Empire landmark in North America which was built during the same period. Even though the building’s symmetrical layout with a frontal clock tower rising amidships is typical of legislative institutions of British heritage, the architectural style is believed to be unique among parliament buildings found in other Canadian provincial capitals which are largely neo-classical in style. Its facade features a pantheon representing significant events and people in the history of Quebec.