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Address: 58 Wolfe St, Louisbourg, Nova Scotia B1C 2J2, Canada
Phone Number: +1 902-733-3552
Website
Sunday
Closed
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Hours:
Mon - Fri 08:00 - 16:00
Description:

Welcome to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, a magical...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Not to be missed

We visited after the high tourist season but there was still plenty to partake in that made this a whole day excursion. As others have noted - be careful with using a GPS to... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
vb22
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United States
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1,359 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,264: English reviews
United States
Level Contributor
234 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 232 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We visited after the high tourist season but there was still plenty to partake in that made this a whole day excursion. As others have noted - be careful with using a GPS to navigate here ... as you may find yourself driving down quite a few km of dirt road only to find that you are at a gate... More 

Helpful?
Thank vb22
FortressofLouisbourg, Program Manager at Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, responded to this review

Thank you so much for your great feedback and reviews! We are so happy to hear that you had a lovely time during your visit. You make some very good points about not trusting the GPS and being prepared for quite changeable weather, great traveler tips for future visitors. We hope that you can come back and see us again... More 

Toronto
Level Contributor
181 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

It is all a historical reconstructions but done with such authenticity and care it really does capture you. The animators enjoy their work and there really is a lot to see and do. From musket drills to rum tasting and garden tours. Sign up early.

Helpful?
Thank marekw
FortressofLouisbourg, Program Manager at Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, responded to this review

Thank you so much for your positive feedback! We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit with us. For future visitors, please check out our official website for all the information you need to plan your visit. More 

Bakersfield, California
Level Contributor
62 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

The fortress is in such good shape, it takes you back in time itself. With the docents all in period costumes and character, it truly makes history come alive as they relay what their duties were "back in the day." Be sure to allow enough time to see and savor everything!

Helpful?
Thank Fern W
North Oxford, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
170 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A very neat place to learn about local history. Staff assume historic roles and remain in character the entire time. Lots of buildings and exhibits to see. There are several guided tour options or you can take a self-guided tour. There are also special events, like the rum-tasting event that we did. Definitely need to spend most of a day... More 

Helpful?
Thank DoctorKnow85
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Touring places in Canada in November is a crap shoot to begin with; not much is open and some places never update their websites and you show up and they are closed. The Fortress was fortunately open for business unlike every other museum I tried to go to on Cape Breton. Though beware if you are following a GPS--it took... More 

Helpful?
Thank Katelyn Q
FortressofLouisbourg, Program Manager at Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, responded to this review

Hi there and thanks for your wonderful comments! We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit with us. We try our best to keep our information regarding open/close etc as up to date as possible and always advise visitors to check our official website for the correct information. We are certainly happy that we were open when... More 

Kamloops, Canada
Level Contributor
76 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We arrived here to tour the Fort a couple days after the hurricane had rolled through so we didn't have any power, the restaurant was closed and some of the buildings were closed due to darkness. We did, however, manage to see the Fort and all it's glory anyway. We loved it. So much history and so much rock.

Helpful?
Thank Linda L
FortressofLouisbourg, Program Manager at Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, responded to this review

Thank you so much for your visit and for your feedback. Thanksgiving was not a nice time in this area but we are very happy to hear that you made the best of the situation. Hopefully you can come back and see us again when we are in full operation. All Parks Canada locations have free entry for the entire... More 

Canmore, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

it takes your whole day. The people working there assume a character. They have a name and job of an actual person. Ask them who they are... you will be stopped at the front gates. They want to know if you are an English spy.... bring cash for pumpernickel and pea soup lunch in the pub. So much to see... More 

Helpful?
Thank CanadaKatgirl
Sydney, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Their restaurants are great but extremely busy,,,,there is considerable walking to get to the fortress and the most exciting part is that they have people in dress there to talk to you about what it was like living in that time era. Really great experience and a must to see when in Cape Breton....you can even buy bread made right... More 

Helpful?
Thank Ruth M
FortressofLouisbourg, Program Manager at Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, responded to this review

Thank you for your lovely comments! We certainly hope you enjoyed your visit. It's always best to check our official parks Canada website as to seasonal programs and services available as it varies throughout the year. Hopefully you can come back and see us again! More 

Taber, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

History buffs paradise, kids will love the experience, so much to see in a day. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Helpful?
Thank 750juanitaf
Pennington, New Jersey
Level Contributor
396 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We learned a lot at this old fort which was the last major bastion to French control before the British destroyed the fort and began the end of French rule in North America. Make sure you go to the bakery and get the famous cannonball bread!. Lots of history and artifacts to see and learn about. The kids had a... More 

Helpful?
Thank KidLove
FortressofLouisbourg, Program Manager at Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, responded to this review

We are happy to hear that you had a great time while visiting us! Located on the shores of the Atlantic ocean we do tend to occasionally get fog but I find it adds to the atmosphere of the fortress. It certainly gives you an appreciation for modern weather proof clothing! We look forward to seeing you again! More 

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