New Harris, Cape Breton, NS

(North Sydney)
28 July 2007

General Information
Local Map

Photo Gallery and Commentary

Another great day in Nova Scotia. The locals are complaining that it is too hot and they may have a point… it reached ninety degrees again. On the other hand, it beats rain and fog.

We drove to the Fortress of Louisbourg, about fifty miles from here on the Atlantic coast.

The Fortress of Louisbourg was once a heavily fortified town and protected harbor. The town was founded by French settlers in 1720, and the fortress built to protect the harbor not long afterwards. The harbor was the busiest in all of Canada and the town became the administrative capital of French Atlantic Canada.

French military engineers thought that the fortress would be able to drive off any invading force because it and another smaller fort on an island in the harbor channel made it impossible to penetrate. They were wrong! A force consisting of 4000 militia members from the New England colonies, accompanied by a British Royal Navy squadron, captured the town in 1745, after a six week siege. The French population was deported to France. British forces occupied the fortress for four years until a peace treaty returned it to French control. The peace was short lived and in 1758 a British force of 30,000 captured the fortress and once again deported the French population. In 1760, the British blew up the fortification and destroyed the town. Reconstruction of the fortress and town was begun in 1961. Only 20% of the town was reconstructed, according to copies of the building plans kept by the French.

Someone interested in history could spend days walking through and around the reconstructed buildings and the ruins of what was a major town in French Canada. We only spent half a day walking around.

Fortress of Louisbourg

Entrance to the Fortress of Louisbourg. Left, view from outside. Right, interior view. The building on the right of the gate is the office of the Officer of the Day. The building to the left of the entrance was the barracks for the guards.
Dauphine Bastion
King's Bastion. The main building housed the chapel, governor's and officers quarters.
King's Bastion Chapel
King's Bastion clock had only an hour hand

Street Scenes

The Quay
Frederick Gate led to the main wharf
King's Storehouse
One of many taverns along the Quay
King's Orders: Declaration of war against the King of England
Louisbourg Lighthouse stands on the site of the first lighthouse in Canada. This is the fourth lighthouse to stand on the site, the others were destroyed by fires.
Louisbourgh viewed from Lighthouse Point

Campground Views

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