Thursday Doors – November 29, 2018

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), by using the blue link-up button below. 

The Fortress of Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island – Nova Scotia (Part 1)

After losing the rest of their territories in mainland Atlantic Canada (Acadia) to the British in 1713, the French settled what would be a profitable fishing outpost on the northeast coast of Isle Royale – Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island.

It quickly became apparent to the French that this new village named for their King Louis XIV, also had strategic military and trade significance in the region.

With it’s direct access to the gulf of St. Lawrence the French chose to reinforce their grip on the gateway to the St. Lawrence seaway, essentially to guard access to their Canadian colonies in New France.

So over the next few decades a fortress which was one of the most expensive ever built by France, took shape, and Louisbourg became one of France’s biggest and most important military and commercial settlements in the new world.

A substantial town and seaport with a population closing in on 5000, at its peak in the mid-eighteenth century Louisbourg had more commercial sway than either Québec City or Montréal. It was in fact for a time the third busiest commercial port in North America, after Boston and Philadelphia.

Eager to be done with battling the French for supremacy over North America, the British knew that the road to capturing New France led through Louisbourg, and in 1745 they set out to do just that.

With the help of militia from the New England colonies they captured the town but much to the dismay of the New Englanders who had just helped them fight for it, in 1748 a mere three years later, the British chose to return the territory to France through the treaty that followed the War of Austrian Succession in Europe.

Then, ten years later in 1758 the British tried once more, setting up a blockade of the harbour and laying siege yet again. After an almost 2 month battle and running out of supplies and options, the French finally surrendered.

This time the British brought their engineers in to totally dismantle the town and fortress to make sure there was nothing left for the French to come back to. They went so far as to ship many of the building materials that could be re-used down to builders in Boston.

The following summer the British troops sailed up the St. Lawrence and captured Québec City. The summer after they took Montréal.

For enlisted men who weren’t lucky enough to share a bunk in the barracks with 3 others, a canvas tent in the courtyards would have to do.

In a relatively short time after this, further negotiations and treaties led to France’s holdings in North America being reduced to two small islands off the coast of Newfoundland named St. Pierre and Miquelon, which are still French territories today.

Due to the great historical significance of the Louisbourg site, in the 1960’s and 70’s Parks Canada undertook a major reconstruction project of the town and fortress, using original materials and construction techniques wherever possible.

Today it is considered one of the crowning achievements of our national parks and historic sites. Even though only about 25% of the original town has been rebuilt, it is the largest historical reconstruction of its kind in North America.

These pictures mostly cover the King’s Bastion, the Fortress portion of the historical site which included barracks, officers quarters, a courtyard used for training drills, and even a chapel.

Confessional aka Catholic Penalty Box 😉

Officer’s armoire

Today during the summer months visitors will encounter Parks Canada interpretive staff dressed in period costumes who are happy to share stories and information about what life was like in a bustling 18th century French colony in the new world.

Next week we’ll take a look at the actual town which included an inn, several restaurants, stables, and whole bunch of other cool spots.

Until then as always, I thank you for dropping by 🙂

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About Norm 2.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
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76 Responses to Thursday Doors – November 29, 2018

  1. Jennie says:

    Old red doors and stonework is a feast for the eyes. I love the door with the rivets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy says:

    Thanks for sharing this Norm. There is so much fascinating history here! I’m so glad that they undertook the preservation of it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful doors. I love that chapel too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tara says:

    That was amazing. Thanks for sharing. The doors are all fantastic, but those chandeliers… beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. slfinnell says:

    Just a question(or 2) on the soldiers for the hubster…. Red is British? and Gray is French? Correct?? And do they do reinactments?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. joey says:

    These are marvelous and I appreciate you taking the time to provide the history. We know so little about your history, which seems odd, sharing so much of North America. Even when I was there, I didn’t see all these things. I suppose we can never see all the things…
    Anyway, I really like the red doors, particularly the ‘studded’ and the ones with rope.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Joey. Both our countries’ histories are so interrelated. I’m always surprised to see how so much of what was happening there affected decisions that were made here and vice versa. Of course a lot of it was also decided in Europe too, which I think is the main reason why both colonies came to the realization that they needed their independence.
      I always find this stuff so fascinating to learn about; perhaps I was a historian in a previous life.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. The renovators must have liked red doors (I can’t imagine they were red in the New World era:) Love all the brick! Thanks for all the historic background!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Beautiful Doors! Makes me want to visit that island. Thanks for sharing, Norm!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. marianallen says:

    What a great collection! I especially like the stonework of the flat stones stuck in edgeways to form an arch. Super stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a cool place with beautiful red doors, shutters, and gates. I loved the history too, and really enjoy living history museums they really help get the history in your head don’t they.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Baldy says:

    You’ve been nominated for a Sunshine Award. It’s not compulsory to participate, and just a bit of fun. Please check out my ‘Novas Sunshine’ blog entry ☀️

    Like

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Welcome and thank you for reaching out. I do not participate in awards on this blog, so please feel free to forward the nomination on to someone who’ll make use of it.
      Cheers 🙂

      Like

  12. Fantastic photos, Norm. I loved the history lesson as I didn’t know how the French lost Canada to the British. Great to have the past reconstructed like that. We have similar places here, often called Folk Parks or Folk Museums.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Jean. I think it’s so important to preserve places like this and use them as teaching tools to help us study and understand the mistakes of the past so that we don’t keep repeating them. Looking at the current social and political climate around the world I have to say that we obviously have not been doing enough of that.

      Like

  13. Thanks for sharing the history of this beautiful place, Norm. And the doors are fantastic. Needless to say, the red doors are my favorites. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. They did a great job with reconstruction and so did you. Your photos are full of light, respect and workmanship.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Such perfect and gorgeous detail! I love the lighting and the care you put into each one.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. scooj says:

    A very interesting history, and some nice doors to boot.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. nwatkins23 says:

    Thanks for relaying some of the historical context that accompanies your images of the fortress at Louisbourg.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. anitashope says:

    Thank you for the wonderful history lessons that go along with your fabulous pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. analogphotobug says:

    A Beautiful Chapel for a Fort of that Era. A Place I am now inspired to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. JT Twissel says:

    We didn’t make it up that far – the last day we were in Cape Breton it started raining. It looks like they did a great job reconstructing the fort.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Incredible reconstruction project and amazing doors as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Jackie says:

    This was a great place to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Great post Norm thanks for the historical background.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Almost Iowa says:

    I just have to say, thank you. It is such a treat coming here each week, for not only the doors, which are always amazing, but for the history and background.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Awe shucks *blushing* thanks for the kind words 🙂
      One of the things I love so much about doing this is how much I learn from others about the places they live in or visit. I literally learn something new each and every week.

      Like

  25. dennyho says:

    Thank you for the history lesson this morning Norm. Love all the red doors, especially the underground (appears to be) red door with the small, square window with the iron crossed bar. These all are really special. Happy Thursday to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Ally Bean says:

    Beautiful photos. And lots of red doors + 1 gate. I lurve red doors, so this post is perfect, I do believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Dymoon says:

    hard to believe that I was in Cape Breton back when our friend was a carpenter working on carvings for the fort. way back……

    Liked by 1 person

  28. trentpmcd says:

    Great post and photos. It’s amazing that it is all reconstructions – I was surprised when I got to the point that the British dismantled everything and shipped a lot of the materials to Boston. “Wait, did Norm use a time machine?” 😉 They did a great job with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Sherry Felix says:

    I love historical restorations. Such a fun way to soak up history.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. mistermuse says:

    Great post (I’d say more, but previous commenters have already said it better). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Amazing view into history with a wonderful array of great doors, windows, hardware and gates. And, I love the red and the gardens. Great Fort for Thursday Doors. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Dan Antion says:

    What a fabulous story, Norm. I love the history and I am amazed that the government took on what had to be a daunting project to recreate the fort and settlement. They did an incredible job. I really like the arched doors and the arched shutters. Being red doesn’t hurt their appeal, just sayin’.

    This is a place I would like to visit. Thanks for showing us around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Full disclosure Dan: there were a bunch of coal mines in the area that had just shut down around the time this project started, so the government was looking at it as a job creation project too by hiring and training locals. Two birds, one stone I guess. It’s good to see that the money wasn’t wasted though because it is one of the most visited Park Canada sites in the eastern part of the country.
      I’m sure you’d be able spend an entire day there and love every minute of it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Joanne Sisco says:

    I visited Louisbourg many years ago on a school trip. I don’t remember anything of that visit except that I was incredibly bored. Now, of course, I want to give teenage-me a good smack for being an idiot.

    I knew that the Louisbourg of today was a ‘restoration’ but I didn’t realize it was actually a reconstruction. It looks like you had great weather to capture such beautiful photos of the stonework and doors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      I guess I was lucky enough to have teachers who made history interesting and fun. Or perhaps I just had a natural interest in this stuff from a young age, but visiting places like this has always been a fun trip for me.
      Yes the day was gorgeous, a bit too hot even. Shade was welcome whenever I could find it 🙂

      Like

  34. thanks for sharing a bit of the history, the historic forts are interesting

    Liked by 1 person

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