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Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
September 29, 2008
From journal The Quest of the Cabot Trail
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
December 7, 2000
In 1961, the Canadian government designated it a National Historic Site
and started the reconstruction process atop the original foundations.
Unlike many sites where you park nearby and walk in, buses take tourists from the Visitors’ Centre to the Fort, about a 5 minute drive. Once dropped off, visitors enter the world of French controlled Louisbourg in the mid 1700s with the help of costumed interpreters. The path to the Fort takes you past a fully uniformed sentry and alongside the water where fishing boats bob in the harbour and dock workers unload furs, fish and other supplies. Inside the Fort it’s a whirlwind of activity - soldiers on parade, servants do their daily chores, merchants run their business and musicians play period instruments. Each home has a garden and some also have animals (sheep, goats, ducks). The complex is quite large with many buildings to tour, including barracks, officers’ quarters, houses, etc. There are demonstrations of lace making at one house and the ornate chapel inside the King’s Bastion is worth a visit. The restaurant and bakery are fully operational and judging from
the line up, quite popular. The menu is similar to pub food during the 1700s – cheese, bread, soups, etc.
To get a good understanding of the Fort, you should allow at least a 1/2 day to wander around. There is a good exhibit on the reconstruction process that includes artifacts found during the excavation. We toured the site on our own but
next time, I’d take a guided tour to get Louisbourg’s full history. The site is open from May to October. Admission in May and October is cheap ($4.50 for adults) but even the full fare in the summer ($11.00 per adult) is a bargain for this extremely informative and entertaining place.
Tip: Wear comfortable shoes – there is a lot of walking and many of the cobblestone streets are uneven.
From journal Cape Breton - a wee bit o Scotland