Fortress Louisbourg (CA)

The Fortress of Louisbourg is the largest reconstruction project in North America. The original settlement was founded in 1713 by the French and developed over several decades into a thriving center for fishing and trade.

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Fortified against the threat of British invasion during the turbulent time of empire-building, Louisbourg was besieged twice before finally being destroyed in the 1760s. Its two sieges, especially that of 1758, were turning points in the Anglo-French struggle for what today is Canada. The site lay untouched until well into modern times, when archaeologists began to reconstruct the fortress as it was in the 18th century.

Unlike most other cities in New France, Louisbourg was a popular port and was the third busiest port in North America (after Boston and Philadelphia). By the mid-1740s Louisbourg was one of the most extensive European fortifications constructed in North America. A garrison was in place until 1768.

Beginning in 1961, the government of Canada undertook a historical reconstruction of one quarter of the town and fortifications with the aim being to recreate Louisbourg as it would have been at its height in the 1740s. The work required an interdisciplinary effort by archaeologists, historians, engineers, and architects. The reconstruction was aided by unemployed coal miners from the industrial Cape Breton area, many of whom learned French masonry techniques from the 18th century and other skills to create an accurate replica. Where possible, many of the original stones were used in the reconstruction.

Today, the entire site of the fortress, including the one-quarter reconstruction, is the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada, operated by Parks Canada. The visitor offer includes guided tours, and the demonstration and explanation of period weapons. Puppet shows are also shown.

Text source: Wikipedia &
Image by Lukester878 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


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