- 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.
- 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.
- Expect mild to warm weather patterns throughout the operating season (mid-May through October). Average daily temperatures are approximately 7°C in May, 12°C in June, 16°C in July, 17°C in August, 14°C in September and 9°C in October.
- Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.
- 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.
- Fortress of Louisbourg is a family-friendly destination.
- Expect to spend a full day touring Fortress of Louisbourg.
- Comfortable walking shoes are recommended as cobblestone streets can be uneven.
- Wheelchair ramps offer accessibility to most buildings.
- Free, wheelchair-accessible shuttle operates from the parking area to Fortress of Louisbourg.
- Fortress of Louisbourg is located on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
- Fortress of Louisbourg is a six-hour drive from Halifax.
- The closest international aiport is the Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ).
- Bus transportation to Louisbourg is available.
- Vehicle rentals are available at all major airports and cities.