On Cape Breton’s rocky shoreline east of Sydney, Nova Scotia, the Fortress of Louisbourg brings you back into one of North America’s busiest 18th-century seaports. Founded by the French in 1713, it fell under siege twice to the British before being demolished in the 1760s. Reconstruction began in the 1960s, rebuilding one quarter of the original French town and fortifications. Today, the reconstructed Fortress of Louisbourg is the largest – and best – of its kind in North America, offering a wealth of experiences for visitors to enjoy.
Visit in the summer to feel the ground shake from the blast of the cannon you’ve just fired. Savour soldier’s bread fresh from the stone bakery or the catch of the day in the ambiance of an 18th-century tavern. Discover the taste and aroma of Fortress™ Rum and the story of this drink made from sugar. Chat with fishermen, merchants, sailors, soldiers, and servants. Explore the beautiful beach and scenic hiking trails nearby. Dare to stay after dark for our murder mystery or for an overnight experience in a period home or a fully equipped 18th-century-style tent.
Visit in the spring or the fall to explore what life was like 300 years ago with our Time Travel experience, a taste of Fortress™ Rum, a guided tour, and more. Hunt for one of our geocaches, using your GPS device throughout the site. Marvel at the stunning views of both the sea and the Fortress from one of our hiking trails (open throughout the year).
Visit in the winter to discover the exterior architecture of the Fortress’ reconstructed buildings. Stroll through the streets and backyards of the town and imagine what your life here would have been like back then. Download the free Explora App, available for both Android and Apple devices. It features audio tours of both the reconstructed town and the area of the Fortress that still lies in ruins.
Whether you’re strolling through the town’s streets or simply sitting in front of a crackling fire, you’ll truly experience life as it was in the 18th-century.
Eat and Drink
- The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse - Sydney (18.6 miles) - Visit Cape Breton's authentic Irish Pub located on Charlotte Street in the heart of downtown Syd...
See and Do
- Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site Louisbourg (0.0 miles) - On Cape Breton’s rocky shoreline east of Sydney, Nova Scotia, the Fortress of Louisbourg brings yo...
- Cape Breton Miners Museum Glace Bay (19.7 miles) - Cape Breton Miners Museum pays tribute to the region's long and rich history of coal mining. It ...