Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site: Hours, Address, Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site Reviews: 4.5/5

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
4.5
Speciality Museums • Historic Sites
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
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.
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Travellingcanuck2012
Toronto, Canada58 contributions
Don’t miss this piece of Canadian history!
Oct. 2021 • Couples
This stunning place is absolutely worth a visit. In addition to walking around the incredible site, I was overwhelmed by the amount I learned about history and the fact that the reconstruction was a project designed to retrain and then utilize the new skills of unemployed coal miners!! The accuracy of the reconstruction was made possible by over 750,000 pages of documentation about the fortress and its inhabitants.

I strongly encourage anyone interested in Canadian history to visit.
Written 10 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tanyankd
Moncton, Canada214 contributions
Not to be missed.
Oct. 2021 • Couples
I had no idea about this place- didn’t come across it in any of my research, but it’s very worth visiting. After going through the sleepy town you enter a whole new world, informative and rein-acted by the staff who. Guide you around the sites. They shot off a musket and all very informed of the history. It was reconstructed and is apparently 2/5 the size it was originally. Sheep grazing, museum-style walk throughs. My only suggestion is to dress warmly, can get a strong wind off the water.
Written 8 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Outbax
Toronto, Canada217 contributions
Great history
Oct. 2021 • Couples
What a great place to visit. Interesting history interpreted well with actors playing parts of citizens and army personnel in 1744. Great value. We went in shoulder season which is cheap and you avoid the crowds. You do miss out on a lot of activities that occur in the Summer. Staff are very pleasant and knowledgeable. You could do the tour(recommended) and the Life of a rifleman in shoulder season. Some buildings and bakery are closed. Tavern to get a beer or rum, also a coffee shop with limited food.(bring snacks/lunch). Allow for most of the day to see everything.
Written 7 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TravellinDaveHead
Toronto, Canada322 contributions
Worth the short drive from Sydney!
Sep. 2021 • Couples
Very interesting attraction, with very friendly and informative staff dressed in period garb telling stories of life as it was at the time this fort was in use. While it’s a shame that not much is original, it’s been reconstructed nicely and definitely still worth a visit. We spent maybe 3 hours there, but you could easily spend longer if time allows and you want to learn all that you can. I highly recommend checking out the lighthouse afterwards, which you will see across the water from the Fort. It’s about a 15-20 minute drive away. While I certainly would not come to Cape Breton just for Louisbourg, it’s definitely worth the short drive from Sydney.
Written 24 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

RSoxFamily2011
Yarmouth, Canada267 contributions
Impressive fortress; extraordinary employees!
Sep. 2021
A walk into the past, 1744.... The buildings are unbelievably well cared for, the panels to read are well done and clear and the costumed employees are friendly, knowledgeable and in character - it was like we were talking to the actual characters! The area is spectacular, with many buildings housing photos and artifacts from days gone by.... each telling a story that the guide will expand on. We took advantage of the "Lartigue House Experience" and spent the night in the fortress. The house is beautifully appointed, with heat and electricity, though only 2 rooms have lights. We took our own bedding, food and dishes and lanterns and thoroughly enjoyed this peaceful and beautiful experience!! We plan to do it again next season!

This may be a long drive from many places, but you will be rewarded with incredible views and wonderfully enthusiastic employees!!
Written 24 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

dkbaker
Dunnville, Ontario133 contributions
Well worth a visit
Sep. 2021
Visited in September so was not crowded at all. All costumed employees were eager to talk and teach. We have visited several other similar restorations throughout North America and this is one of the best. There is a fair bit of walking involved.
Written 18 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steve A
11 contributions
An amazing trip back in history
Sep. 2021
We spent 6 hours at this location. It is an amazing recreation of the original fort and associated building. The location is very scenic. Costumed staff gave us an excellent idea of what their historical lives were like. We found all of them to be very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Apparently pre covid there were more activities to participate in. Despite that the trip was one of several highlights during our two week maritime vacation. Just a short distance away is the Maritime Miners Museum which is also an excellent place to visit. Admission for 2 seniors was $30
Written 17 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Karon B
Stratford, Canada52 contributions
An inspiring historical place to visit in a stunning setting
Sep. 2021 • Couples
Fantastic total restoration of the Fortress based on how it was in 1744. Meticulously done, very informative, stunning sight, knowledgeable guides, well organized. Definitely worth the visit, even though we went at the end of the high season and there were still COVID restrictions.
Written 14 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steve D
Toronto, Canada53 contributions
Amazing Place to Visit
Sep. 2021
We arrive early in Sept, on a gloomy day, which seemed about perfect to visit a doomed European fortress plunked down upon the isolated shores of Cape Breton. Built at great cost by the French to keep open their access to New France through the Gulf of St. Lawrence, it was easily isolated and with no relief force to break the siege, it fell to the British relatively easily both times it was attacked. In short, it was the wrong solution to the problem facing the French.

The presenters on hand were excellent and quite knowledgeable (fluent in both French and English, of course).

Even though only 1/4 of the site has been reconstructed, it still will take you several hours to go through most of it. The restoration is remarkable in the detail and scope. If you are at all interested in Canadian (and to a lesser extent American) colonial history, you will love this place.
Written 11 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Laurence_Brussels
Montreal, Canada350 contributions
A must in NS
Aug. 2021
It's an incredible place to visit. We originally come from Europe and are used to old buildings, but this place really shows you what it was to live there in the 18th century. They've rebuilt/renovated 25% of the city and refurbished houses with antiques . Everybody is really nice and explains how things worked back then. And we were lucky because there weren't many visitors so we could safely walk around the place. We loved the visit and definitely recommend it!
Written 3 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:30 am - 5:00 pm


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