Province/Territory: Nova Scotia

Experience life in 18th century Canada

  • 250-plus years of tradition
  • 50 reconstructed historic buildings
  • 01 unforgettable pea soup

Journey back to the 1700s with a tour of a lively reconstructed fortress that illuminates pre-confederacy life on Cape Breton Island. Wander the five-hectare grounds and engage with locals in period dress—merchants, military men, fishermen, musicians, women in hoop skirts—every one of them willing to stop and share a story. See an impromptu minuet set to harpsichord music in the Engineer’s House. Sit down to a traditional meat pie or hot pea soup at Grandchamps Tavern or Hotel de la Marine. Learn the skills of open-hearth cooking; uncover the lost art of lace making. Feel the ground shake as cannons fire. Inspect the King’s Bastion Barracks. Watch history come alive.

Welcome to the Fortress of Louisbourg, a National Historic Site of Canada and a spectacularly recreated fortified town set on the scenic Atlantic coastline. Appreciate the detail, connect with the tradition and time-travel to 18th century Canada.

Why you should visit
  • Experience a meticulous historical re-creation as you wander through 50-plus 1700s-era buildings spread out over five scenic oceanside hectares.
  • Discover the storied history of the fortress: founded by Frenchmen, visited by colonists and besieged by the British twice before finally falling.
  • Listen to the bells ring at the King’s Bastion Barracks, the famous fort-within-the-fort; hear actual cannons fire; smell fresh bread baking at the King’s Bakery.
  • Tour the stately Engineer’s Property and its formal gardens; wander beneath the imposing archways that guard all entrances to the fortress.
  • Savour one of the 18th century’s most sought-after delicacies—chocolate—and learn how to craft traditional French hot cocoa.
  • Engage with fortress locals—entertaining re-enactors roaming the property in period clothing—to discover what life was like in a French colony circa 1744; view daily organized demonstrations of music, dancing, cooking and military drills.
  • Dine on traditional foods, such as meat pie, fresh fish and pea soup, all made in traditional fashion with 250-year-old recipes; shop for unique gifts at one of two 1744 Boutiques.

Weather

Visitor information

Fortress of Louisbourg visitor information.

Fortress of Louisbourg features a variety of experiences and attractions.

Group tours & custom/private functions can be accommodated.

When to go
  • Fortress of Louisbourg operates from May 15 to October 31 annually.
  • Fortress of Louisbourg is fully animated from June 15 to October 15.
  • Expect the warmest and driest weather in August.
  • Special events are held throughout the season.
Need to know
Getting Here