Nova Scotia Historic Sites
- Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site
- Get a rare glimpse into the extraordinary heart and mind of a world-famous inventor whose genius helped shape the modern world. Pull the curtain back on Alexander Graham Bell’s interests and inventions, spanning airplanes and kites, to deaf education and artificial respiration. Feel his legacy come to life as you explore remarkable artifacts, photos and full-scale replicas that mark his masterful career as an engineer, inventor, scientist and humanitarian.
- Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence National Historic Sites
- A thriving Acadian settlement here became a pivotal site in the struggle between Great Britain and France for control of the Isthmus of Chignecto region. The village, under British rule since 1713, was burned by the French in 1750 to force the inhabitants into nearby French-controlled territory. The site’s extensive archaeological resources, which include remarkable glass and ceramic artifacts and charred building remains, reflect both the Acadian way of life and the destruction of this village. Beaubassin remains a silent witness to the clash of two empires for power in North America.
- Bloody Creek National Historic Site
- Bloody Creek National Historic Site is located on sloping farmland in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia. Two circles of land mark the sites of two battles, which took place in 1711 and 1757, between British forces and allied French and Aboriginal forces over the possession of Acadia. The first battle site is centred on the northwest shore of the Annapolis River, and the second site is centred on the east shore of Bloody Creek. Both are comprised of land and water. A Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada stone cairn, near the site of the 1757 battle, marks the location. Official recognition refers to the two circles as they were at the time of designation in 1930. Learn more
- Canso Islands National Historic Site
- Travel to a time when remote fishing ports dotted the Atlantic coast and England and France vied for control of North America. Home to the remains of an 18th century fishing settlement and the ruins of a battle-ravaged stone fortress, Canso Islands National Historic Site welcomes curious explorers upon its windswept shores to journey through the history that forged a nation.
- Charles Fort National Historic Site
- Stand on the grassy rise where Scottish colonists arrived nearly four centuries ago in 1629.
Imagine the hardscrabble lives of early settlers and the struggles that ensued as Europe’s powers rivalled for supremacy in North America. All that reminds us of Charles Fort today is a plaque on the grounds of Fort Anne National Historic Site; but, gazing out over the Annapolis River, visitors gain a window into Canadian history. Learn more
- D’Anville’s Encampment National Historic Site
- D’Anville’s Encampment National Historic Site is located on a small plot of land in Centennial Park in Bedford Basin, Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was in this area, in 1746, that Duc d’Anville camped along the shore on a failed expedition from France to recover Acadia. The site consists of a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) plaque and cairn surrounded by a five-metre radius in Centennial Park. There are no known extant remains associated with Duc d’Anville’s 1746 encampment, and its precise location remains unknown. Official recognition refers to the five-metre radius surrounding the HSMBC plaque and cairn. Visit historicplaces.ca for more information.
- Fort Anne National Historic Site
- Step foot onto one of the most hotly contested pieces of land on the entire continent which became Canada’s first administered National Historic Site in 1917 – Fort Anne. The land on which Fort Anne now stands is part of the traditional homeland of the Mi’kmaq. In recent centuries, a succession of Scottish, French, and English settlers clashed over this prize on the banks of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis River, often drawing the Mi’kmaq into their conflict. Fort Anne was the site of thirteen attacks, seven change of hands, and the ratification of the Treaty of Boston.
In 2017, visitors can walk the earthen walls, explore the 1797 Officers’ Quarters Museum and soak up thousands of years of Canadian history. Learn more
- Fort Edward National Historic Site
- Discover a key chapter of Canada’s colonial history on a lonely hilltop high above Nova Scotia’s historic Minas Basin. Built in 1750, Fort Edward provided an important British stronghold during decades of discord with Acadian settlers and the Mi’kmaq people. Today, visitors can explore North America’s oldest military blockhouse and walk historic grounds with sweeping river views. The quiet, subdued site comes alive with imagination. Learn more
- Fort Lawrence National Historic Site
- English fort, 1750-55
Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia
Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence National Historic Sites
- Fort McNab National Historic Site
- Built in the 1880s, Fort McNab was at one time the most powerful guardian of Halifax, thanks to its powerful breech-loading guns. Fort McNab served as an important counter-bombardment battery in the two World Wars before being decommissioned in 1959 and becoming a national historic site in 1965. Learn more
- Fort Sainte Marie de Grace National Historic Site
- Fort Sainte Marie de Grace National Historic Site is strategically located at LaHave, Nova Scotia, on a point of land where the LaHave River narrows. The land upon which the original fort was built has now eroded away; a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada cairn, which marks the site, is situated near the original location of the fort. Official recognition refers to the small plot of land approximately equivalent to the footprint of the cairn. For more information, visit HistoricPlaces.ca.
- Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
- French soldiers march down the streets of the town as ladies dance in formal parlours. Cannon fire shakes the ground as harpsichord tunes mingle with baking bread aromas drifting from the stone bakery. Step through Louisbourg’s fortress walls and time-warp back to the 1700s. Chat with fishermen, sailors and servants. Sip rum and watch lace-making as children play 300-year-old games and stew simmers on an open-hearth fire. It’s so real, it seems surreal.
- Georges Island National Historic Site
- Thanks to its peerless position in Halifax Harbour, Georges Island was occupied by military forces for 200 years from 1750, acting as a key fortification protecting access to a key British station. Created by deposits left by glaciers thousands of years ago, the small island stood guard while battles raged for control of the East coast. Georges Island does not currently offer a visitor program, but special events are occasionally held, offering a rare opportunity to visit. Learn more
- Grand-Pré National Historic Site
- Immerse in a powerful monument that unites the Acadian people. Uncover the tale of Le grand dérangement through engaging multimedia. Admire the statue of Evangeline, heroine of an epic Longfellow poem. View impressive artefacts and statues, storytellers of a turbulent history. Located in the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is Grand-Pré National Historic Site—once the epicentre of Acadian culture and now the most significant memorial to their tragic upheaval.
- Grassy Island Fort National Historic Site of Canada
- Centre of English fishery in 18th-century
Canso, Nova Scotia
Canso Islands National Historic Site
- Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
- It’s obvious why this strategic hilltop location with a commanding view of the Halifax harbour was chosen in 1749 for the fort destined to protect the city. The Halifax Citadel’s star shaped architecture is equally as impressive from the inside and out. Step back in time with the 78th Highlanders and the 3rd Brigade Royal Artillery to learn what it was like for the soldiers and their families to live and work in this historic fort. Learn what roles the fort and it’s inhabitants played over time. Learn more
- Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site
- Generations of families have paddled, hiked, camped, and connected with nature and Mi’kmaw culture at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. When the sun sets, the skies over Kejimkujik reveal a beautiful panorama of tens of thousands of stars in Nova Scotia’s only Dark Sky Preserve. Rock engravings known as petroglyphs, traditional encampment areas, and canoe routes attest to the presence of the Mi’kmaw people for thousands of years.
Kejimujik National Park Seaside is a seperate protected wilderness on the Atlantic coast where you can experience pristine white sand beaches, astounding turquoise waters, coastal bogs, abundant wildflowers, rich lagoon systems, and coastal wildlife.
- Marconi National Historic Site
- In a world of nanosecond speeds and cloud technology, it’s hard to remember a time when wireless messages couldn’t even cross the Atlantic. Guglielmo Marconi would change the world forever with the first official transatlantic exchange of radio messages at Glace Bay. Find out how Marconi triumphed at his first permanent transatlantic wireless station at Table Head, and how his work would usher in the age of global communications.
- Melanson Settlement National Historic Site
- An archaeological survey undertaken in 1984 on quiet farmland on the banks of the Annapolis River in 1985 unlocked the key to the history of the Acadian settlers who lived here throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Melanson Settlement revealed a system of dykeland farming unique among Acadians living in North America which involved families and neighbours cooperatively working the land.
Stroll the path and take in the view over the marshlands and fields. Learn more
- Port-Royal National Historic Site
- Port-Royal National Historic Site features a reconstruction of the Habitation, an enclosed wooden compound.In 1605, Samuel de Champlain helped establish one of the earliest European attempts at settlement in North America on land that is the traditional homeland of the Mi’kmaq. Costumed interpreters will help you understand the challenges faced by the French as they carved out a new settlement. Let your imagination soar as you walk along the shore of the Annapolis Basin, and gaze at the same horizon that the Mi’kmaq experienced for thousands of years and that Champlain saw in 1605. Learn more
- Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site
- The first tower of its type ever built in North America; the Prince of Wales Tower is part of the robust Halifax Defence Complex constructed, beginning in the 1790s, to protect British sea batteries from a French landward attack. This solid, thick walled Martello tower stands guard on the highest point of Point Pleasant Park. Today, interpretive panels portray the tower’s history, architectural features and significance as a defensive structure. Learn more
- Royal Battery National Historic Site
- Role in the 1745 and 1758 sieges of Louisbourg
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
- St. Peters Canal National Historic Site
- Built on an isthmus, the 800-metre St. Peters Canal joins the Atlantic Ocean to the sparkling Bras d’Or Lake, meandering along Battery Park, popular for boating, fishing, and picnicking.
As the pride of St. Peter’s village, trace the canal’s history back to a fortified 17th century trading post built by French merchants, to its remarkable 15-year construction and evolution as a contemporary waterway, opening up Cape Breton Island development.
- St. Peters National Historic Site
- French trading post and fort, 1650-1758
St. Peter’s, Nova Scotia
St. Peters Canal National Historic Site
- Wolfe’s Landing National Historic Site
- Successful landing led to capture of Louisbourg, 1758
Kennington Cove, Nova Scotia
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
- York Redoubt National Historic Site
- High on a bluff overlooking the entrance to Halifax Harbour sits a fortification that has helped protect this historic port throughout three centuries of Canadian history.
Part of Halifax’s formidable Defense Complex, York Redoubt was constructed in 1793 just as war broke out between Britain and France. Perched on a bluff at the narrowest point of the outer harbour, it offers superb views. Bring your camera and zest for adventure. Learn more