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“A Wonderful Experience”

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Welcome to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, a magical place on the edge of a continent where past and present come together to celebrate Canada’s diverse heritage. Please note that we have three seasons throughout the year: Low season Opportunities to experience the Fortress of Louisbourg's quiet streets during the low season allow visitors to imagine life in the toughest of conditions almost 300 years ago. While there are no services available, a low season visit may provide the best opportunity for visitors to experience the stillness of the streets, take in the beauty of the exterior architecture of the buildings, or simply enjoy the treasures that life's quietest moments may bring. For a new way to experience the site in the low season, try our Explora app. Through sound, video, photos, quizzes and text, you will hold stories about Louisbourg in your hands as you walk through both the reconstructed town and the fortress's ruins. Explora is available to download for free at the App Store and through Google Play. Shoulder season For those seeking quiet opportunities and some on-site services, visiting during the shoulder season is recommended. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy an inspiring setting with beautiful visuals as they stand on our history-laden grounds. Several buildings with exhibits are open for you to discover. Explore the site on your own or embark on an Explora tour of the grounds. To enhance your visit you may purchase a guided tour or participate in the Time Travel program. Accessible guided tours are available as well. We recommend reserving a place on these tours in advance. By the end of June, the site will begin to fill with costumed interpreters as we ramp up for peak season. After Labour Day, the Fortress of Louisbourg winds down once again with costumed animators interpreting some buildings into September. No matter the season, be sure to find out from reception what activities and experiences may be on offer that day. Peak Season Peak season brings a different kind of magic on-site as costumed people add life to the streets and the homes. A foggy day cloaks the site in mystery and creates scenes and images not to be forgotten. A cold day with wind and rain may draw visitors to the warmth of a welcoming fire or to the cozy inn for a warming bowl of soup. A hot day shows the town and its various gardens at their brightest. On summer feast days colour and pageantry break the routine of daily life as the townspeople promenade in their finery. Chores are the order of the day on summer and fall mornings. With the rooster's crow comes bread from the ovens that supplies both soldiers and hungry visitors. Louisbourg's inhabitants are happy to share their stories, and can be found working the forge, tending the gardens and running the kitchens. The beat of drums and the chime of the garrison clock order the soldiers' day. The sound of a cannon marks midday. You can even fire a cannon or musket yourself by taking part in our 'Have a Blast' or 'Have a Ball' programs. Music might be heard from a waterfront tavern. Children play games in the streets, while the sentry at the gate challenges those who wish to enter the walled town. A public punishment gathers spectators. Sheep run through the streets, called home by the stable hand. Each hour offers something unique and real. During the peak season you can immerse yourself in an 18th century dining experience, available daily, at the Hotel de la Marine and Grandchamp House. For those who prefer a modern experience L'Epee Royale Cafe offers a cozy stop for hot and cold beverages and a variety of pastries. Groups can pre-arrange a dining experience by calling 902-733-3552. The daily fare varies with the season. Please check in advance for menu options and our ability to accommodate any special dietary requirements. Hours of Operation Low season: October 11, 2016 - May 21, 2017) Open Monday to Friday (except statutory holidays) 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Shoulder Season: May 22 2017 to June 30 2017 and September 5 2017 to October 9, 2017 Open 7 days per week 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Peak Season: July 1 - September 4 Open 7 days per week 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Dining Establishment Hours of Operation Grandchamp House Lower class (Less formal dining) July 1 - August 25 (Doors open at 10:30 a.m.) Hotel de la Marine Upper class (More formal dining) July 1 - August 25 (Doors open at 11 a.m.) Hotel de la Marine Lower class (Less formal dining) August 26 - October 9 2017 (Doors open at 10:30 a.m.) L'Epee Royale Cafe May 22 - October 9 2017 (Doors open at 10 a.m.) When the Fortress of Louisbourg is in low season, programs and services are provided through the Fortress Louisbourg Association after-hours programs. Whether it's the bustling street or the solitude of the shore, a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg offers many opportunities for memorable experiences.
Coral Gables, Florida
Level Contributor
172 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“A Wonderful Experience”
Reviewed 31 May 2014

Like an earlier reviewer, the generosity of Parks Canada made for a highly enjoyable and educational experience. The trip to the fortress was on a shore excursion in Cape Breton Island on the first cruise ship to stop in Sydney for the Summer 2014 season. I worried that the reconstructed fortress would not be open at all in early May since the height of the summer season doesn't really begin until late June. My worries were groundless. On a beautifully cold and clear day, Parks Canada opened its doors to our ship group and mounted two special recreations - a domestic scene at the engineer's house and a musket firing demonstration. We were given detailed maps to explore the historically accurate reconstructed buildings, but I had read up on the fortress and its history prior to my visit and was thus able to get the most out of it. As I wondered around on my own, I asked a few questions of Parks Canada ranger Kyle who, along with others, was very busy getting the facility in shape for the upcoming season. Seeing my interest, he took me on a behind-the-scenes individual walk through the exhibition being mounted in Commissaire-Ordonnateur Bigot's home!! I must say that a walk through the King's Bastion as well with a small group really brought the enormity and solitude of the place into perspective. I am sure that the fortress experience at the height of the summer season - with the crowds, noise, non-stop programming, etc. - will differ markedly from what I experienced. And yet, for those interested in the French at Louisbourg from 1713 to 1758 and the loneliness and privations they must have suffered at that lonely French imperial outpost, one could not have scheduled a better visit to Fortress Louisbourg. If you are like me and like to daydream about history, schedule your visit for the "shoulder" season. For a more crowded "festival" experience, go in July and August. In either case, the Parks Canada staff will not disappoint.

Visited May 2014
3 Thank ciscokid23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,391 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great Restored 18th Century French Fortress”
Reviewed 29 May 2014

The Fortress of Louisbourg was an interesting and educational experience even prior to the main tourist season. Due to a very serendipitous meeting, I was able to visit the Fortress on a day when it was not officially open to the public and had a great personal tour by two members of the staff who could not have been any friendlier. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the French presence in North America prior to the Revolutionary War. While my experience was somewhat unique, a visit during the prime June-August tourist season would include staff in period dress and historically authentic dining opportunities akin to that at Colony Williamsburg in Virginia. While the Fortress is open year around, it is not open on weekends except during the summer. I stayed in Sydney, Nova Scotia which is an easy 25 mile or so drive from the Fortress.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Mike S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Canada
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Strong 18th Century French Style”
Reviewed 21 May 2014

It is the most amazing place that I have been to after I arrived Nova Scotia. I love that kind of vintage French style. The tour guide introduced us the history of Louisbourg with passionate service. The fortress is a symbol which stand for the courage of the people live in that town. There were two people dressed in costume,they look like the members of royal and played drum for us,that's so fantastic! They have a very beautiful and clean harbour that I have never seen before. The gooses and sheep that be fed in there were cute! Finally,I will recommend the baked food in there,the soldier's bread was awesome!

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Lexi W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Midland, Canada
Level Contributor
70 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Interactive History”
Reviewed 19 May 2014

Excellent interpretive historical site with many activities, buildings to visit and traditional food to enjoy.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Wetherstone P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
58 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Great Historic Site!”
Reviewed 19 May 2014

Went with my family and found this to be an excellent place to visit. Beautifully reconstructed and it comes to life with the excellent people who portray the inhabitants! History comes to life--vital, interesting! Looking forward to the next visit!

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Maggie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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