Acadian Heritage


Port Royal

Port Royal

A lamp
Acadian costume

We met a lot of Canadians from the western provinces who told us that this part of Canada had so much historical importance. And we did found evidence of this, although most of the buildings were restored or even completely rebuilt.

Port Royal for one, was built as a trade post by French fur hunters as early as 1605. They lived here only a couple of years, because a British expedition looted and burned the place. The fort was reconstructed in 1939 as part of an employment policy. It is now habited by people who dress like the French of those times, wearing wooden shoes, and sel tickets to tourists.

Fort Anne

Not far from here lies the reconstructed Fort Anne. This fort was first built by the French and later conquered by the British. It has been in use up to the 19th century. The earthworks of the fort are nice although they look remarkably like forts in Holland. The tapestry in the hall is really sublime, crafted by over 100 volunteers using some three million stitches and depicting the three eras: French, British and modern.

Fort Anne

Historical Garden

In Annapolis lies also a Historical Botanic Garden. The garden is not really old, but contains a walk over a dike through the salt water marshes. The Acadian people, who lived in this region, had built dikes like those.

Droplet of water

Grand Pré

Nova Scotia is one of the newest wine-countries. There are several wineries, and we visited one of them. After a tour of 15 minutes (of which we missed most because we were a bit late) we could taste some of the wines. But we are sorry to tell we won't be a costumer of this winery: we didn't like any one of them.

The deportation of the Acadians

Grapes

Grand Pré is one of the black pages of Canadians history book. From the discovery of Canada by the Europeans, the French and British quarrelled over its possession. A group of French people had immigrated in the beginning of the 18th century to this area. They thought no longer of themselves as French, but as Canadians 'avant la lettre' and called themselves Acadians. They tried to stay neutral in the conflict between the French and British but never really managed to do so.

In 1755 the British decided the Acadians were a threat and ordered their deportation to the Anglo-American colonies further south. In the following years about 6,500 people were brought to the southern part of America. Some of them stayed there and are now known as Cajuns. Others were separated from their family during the deportation or simply wanted to live in Canada and took years to return to Grand Pré.

At Grand Pré you can find a museum telling the story of the Acadians, and a monument resembling a church. And we said after visiting Grand Pré: We now know what happened, but we will never truly understand.

Memorial church