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DSC_4090 - Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Park

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The Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Park is the crown jewel of the Canadian Park Service and the largest historical reconstruction in Canada. Fortress Louisbourg was built to protect France's interests in the new world and to serve as the centre of its massive seasonal fishing industry.Its location near the eastern tip of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia enabled it to serve not only as the capital of the new colony of Ile Royale but also to act as the first line of defence for France in its 18th century struggle against Great Britain for colonial supremacy in North America. Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, Canada


Fortress Louisbourg was first captured in 1745 after a six week siege by New England troops with the support of the British navy. After three years under British governors, the Fortress of Louisbourg was returned to France by treaty in 1749 inspite of the protests of the American colonies. After almost a decade of increasing prosperity, the much stronger Fortress again fell again after another six week siege in 1758, this time to the largest assembled assault force in colonial Canadian history.The fortifications were blown up in 1760-61 and the British military presence withdrawn in 1768. The imported cut stone which was widely used in the original construction of the Fortress was re-used around the province, and is still found in buildings standing today at both Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia and along the eastern seaboard. The new town of Louisbourg would be a community established first by English and Irish soldiers who served at the second siege of Louisbourg and at Quebec, to be joined soon afterwards by Loyalists and more Irish via Placentia, Nfld.


An initiative of the government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in 1961, the rebuilding over the next two decades of Fortress Louisbourg transformed the ruins from heaps of grass and stones to the impressive historical and interpretive site it is today. The old capital of Isle Royale was back!


The Fortress offers a unique window into our past and our 18th century colonial history. Dozens of costumed animators become the town's residents of the summer of 1744. Surrounded by ramparts, the King's Bastion is a fort within a fortress. The King's Bastion Barracks is the largest building on site and in its day was one of the largest buildings in North America. Visit Chapelle St. Louis, Louisbourg's garrison chapel. See artifacts found during 20 years of archaeological excavation. Talk to a soldier. You'll find them happy to tell you about guard duty, living conditions, armaments, security, food and a soldier's life in general.


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Taken on April 27, 2008