By 1713 France had lost most of it’s holdings in Atlantic Canada but it still had possession of Cape Breton, the island on the northeast end of Nova Scotia. Fortress of Louisbourg started as a small fishing village but it’s location at the entrance to the St. Lawrence Seaway made it strategically important. A heavily fortified city was built to protect the fishing trade and the sea route to Quebec and Montreal. About 4,000 people lived in the city. Seasonal fishermen built huts on the shore by the ocean. A siege by the British in 1758 along with an assault on the inadequately protected southern side of the fortress ended in a French defeat. The British used the fort to launch an attack to captured Quebec and then destroyed the fort a year later in 1760.
One quarter of the fortress has been reconstructed using original maps and plans. This is an excellent reconstruction on the same par as Williamsburg in Virginia but much smaller. The reenactors are well versed in the history of the site and willing and able to answer any question.
Very little is wheelchair accessible. Follow the signs for handicapped parking in front of the visitor center. The visitor center has exhibits along the hallway that leads the bus loading area. The buses are not accessible. The hallway has strange angles and is steeply sloped downhill. Wheelchair users may not be able to get back up if they venture down the hallway. Visitor who need special access will be given a pass and can drive directly to the fortress site. The streets in the fortress are covered with loose gravel and many are sloped. A few of the buildings have ramps or raised paths at the back entrances but most have steps or other obstacles such as extremely high thresholds.
The visitor center has a lot for RVs. The handicapped lot at the site is large enough for small RVs. Fortress