Sydney, Nova Scotia and the Fortress of Louisbourg

The Fortress of Louisbourg was the largest fortified town outside of Europe when built in the early 18th c. Louisbourg was once a thriving seaport, the third busiest harbour in North America and one of France’s key centres of trade and military strength in the new world. We started the tour with a drive through the historic North end of Sydney. On arrival at the fortress we were entertained by costumed actors who reenacted the lives of specific people who lived there prior to the sieges by the British. We first went to the engineer’s house where two housemaids treated us to hot chocolate made with a historical recipe using 5 spices. A soldier then told us about military life and showed us how to load and shoot a musket. We then had free time to visit the Governor’s apartments and military chapel. We also visited the centre describing how the fortress was reconstructed starting in the 1960’s using documents from the French archives. We also saw a military house. Boys were not educated but the nuns taught girls to read and write and do household chores and we visited the school. We also had a chance to purchase baked goods made from historical recipes. In the summer months the entire fortress is open to visitors.

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