Today we car pooled to the Fortress of Louisbourg, a National Historic site of Canada. It is an 18th century French fortress located at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia that is celebrating its 300th anniversary. The original settlement was founded in 1713 and developed over several decades into a thriving center for fishing and trade. It was 3 miles around and had a population of about 3,000 people. Trade winds blew directly from Europe to this area and the port was ice-free year round with the harbor being 90 feet deep. The fortress had two major battles, one in 1745 and was under siege for 46 days before surrendering to the British and the American Colonists. Then in 1758 16,000 British Troops with 150 ships defeated the fortress in 49 days. Two years later the British demolished the fort, leaving most of the outer buildings of the village which were homes and small businesses. In 1961 a 25 million dollar reconstruction started to rebuild what was demolished. The coal mining industry was not doing well so the decision was made to hire the coal miners to rebuild the fort. There were old maps and building plans that were saved from the original site and the fort has been rebuilt and restored back to the original condition.
We had an excellent guide who gave us our own private tour. She explained everything in such detail; she was so knowledgeable. Rod had asked her if she could get us into this one building that isn't normally open to the public at this time. She got approval and the key and took us through. What she showed us were two paintings that covered two walls. They were of the fortress back in the 18th century. One was looking down from the fort into the village and out to the ships in the water. The other was just the opposite, looking up from the ships at the Fortress of Louisbourg. After the guided tour we had a chance to walk around and go into the different buildings. There were people walking around in the authentic dress from wealthy merchants to the poor soldiers.
After we left the Fortress of Louisbourg, we drove to the Louisbourg Lighthouse. This is the site of the oldest lighthouse in Canada. Today was such a beautiful sunny day. The ocean waters in Nova Scotia are such a beautiful blue and then with the white waves bursting over the rocks, it was spectacular.