Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fortress at Louisbourg

The Fortress of Louisbourg is a fortress because it also had a town within the walls.
 If it was just a military installation it would be a fort. 
Here is the front gate.

On Cape Breton’s rocky shoreline east of Sydney, Nova Scotia, the Fortress of Louisbourg brings you back into one of North America’s busiest 18th-century seaports. Founded by the French in 1713, this one-quarter reconstruction of the original French town and fortifications is the largest – and best – of its kind in North America, offering a wealth of experiences for visitors to enjoy.
Nova Scotia’s colonial history was largely shaped by decisions far across the Atlantic. When the War of Spanish Succession was settled with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Britain was given control of mainland Nova Scotia and France was given Ile Royale, what is today known as Cape Breton Island.
On the eastern side of Cape Breton, the French found an ice-free, sheltered harbour to act as a base for France’s interests in the cod fishery and to serve as an important trading outpost because of its proximity to Europe and colonies  in both New England and the West Indies. They named it Louisbourg, in honour of King Louis XIV.
Over the course of almost three decades, engineers surrounded the town and garrison with massive stone walls that would make it one of the most extensive fortifications in North America. In fact, the 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) of walls – measuring 30 feet high and 36 feet thick in some places – cost so much to build that the French king joked how he expected to be able to see them from his palace in France. 
Despite the towering walls, the Fortress of Louisbourg had some weaknesses that its engineers struggled with. While the fortress was well defended against attacks from the sea, it was vulnerable to land-based assaults, and when France and Britain went to war in 1745, this weakness was exploited.
Even with its proud military heritage, the Fortress of Louisbourg was about more than just the military. At its core, Louisbourg was a thriving civilian community made prosperous by a profitable cod-fishery and strong trade ties reaching across the Atlantic. During its peak it was the third busiest port in North America and was considered the jewel of France’s holdings in the new world. Louisbourg represented hope, and its prosperity convinced many of France’s poor and impoverished to leave their homes behind and seek a chance at a better life.
Bobbin lace is being made here. I am afraid I would get so confused. Over? Under? Which one? 
The attackers – New England militia who saw Louisbourg as a direct threat to their colonies and the nearby fishing grounds – erected siege batteries on the hills overlooking the fortress and, through a series of bombardments and assaults, forced the defenders to surrender.
The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748 returned Louisbourg to the French. It also prompted the British to establish a new fortress at Halifax to counter the French presence in Cape Breton. Over the next decade, French and English forces battled for control of Nova Scotia during the French and Indian War and the Seven Years War. The Fortress of Louisbourg fell once again in 1758. This time, British engineers destroyed the town and dismantled its fortifications, shipping some of the stone off to Boston to construct Louisbourg Square and other buildings in that city. 
I'm guessing, by the looks of things..... those horses need some feed!! <grin>
The Fortress of Louisbourg might have been lost to history had it not been designated a National Historic Site and partially reconstructed in the 1960's. It has become the largest reconstructed 18th-century French fortified town in North America, with archaeologists, and engineers and historians working together to recreate the town as it was in the 1740's.era.

I know this is probably more history than you were looking for...... sorry. 
I find the history here fascinating and I wish I knew more of it.
The roofs were slate. I cannot imagine what the combined weight would be. 

Back in the day....

We really enjoyed our time at the Fortress of Louisbourg with Aisling. 
The history was wonderfully portrayed. 
It was kind of like taking a tour of Old Nauvoo. 
So grateful for those that made our lives possible! We're thankful for the legacy we've received from our ancestors. 


  1. one of my favourite places, beautiful pictures

  2. Thank you, Sid, for putting together such a beautiful display of pictures and history! I find it so terribly sad that kids today are not learning about the history of their country so that they can love it like we do. Hence, we are finding a tragic dwindling in numbers of those who are willing to defend it!


I LOVE comments!! They make me smile! Thanks!!