Friday, May 4, 2012

Halifax history, part the first.

Hi, Just got back from a trip east to visit the cub. We stayed for the bulk of the time in Halifax (that's in Nova Scotia, Canada), and in the process of dad and cub stuff managed to check out some fairly interesting history. For those of you who don't know, Halifax is the second largest ice-free harbour in the world, and was Britain's primary north american fleet anchorage from the 17th century through to World War II. As such, for history buffs, there's a fair bit going on.


That is the view from the base of Citadel Hill, the defining physical feature of Halifax. It's actually from about half-way up the hill, insofar as the hill more or less starts at the water and goes straight up. The photo is taken from the base of the national park preserving the hill, and what's at the top of it, namely

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 That's part of the Citadel itself, a Vauban-style star fort that occupies the heights. The present fort was built in the early-to-mid 19th century to protect the harbour, but the hill top has been fortified in one way or another since before the official founding of the city in 1749. The fort itself is pretty cool.

Lots of period cannon:






And at noon each day they fire a replica of an 1808 12 pounder.


 Most of the fort is accessible, you can freely wander the walls, and in peak (i.e., summer season) the buildings are open, and staffed by period reenactors (we missed this by a week or so). Although you aren't supposed to go up on the firing steps, you can get at the gun embrasures, and get a sense of what if might have been like to approach the fort, from either the harbour or the landward side.




The ditch you can see in the last photo surrounds the fort, and is more or less invisible until you're right on it.


 The interior of the fort is mostly open. There are buildings / rooms built into the walls, but the courtyard just has the one large building - from what I could gather, mostly stores and some accommodations. Barracks were in the walls themselves.


 One thing the Cub really enjoyed (aside from the cannon firing) were the re-enactors to be practising their marching. He was a little intimidated at first, but then kept wanting to be lifted up to watch.


 Even with most of the buildings shut, this was a neat spot to visit. I'd love to get back at some point when the placed is fully staffed, and running at full steam.


  1. Excellent photos, thanks for sharing!!

  2. Looks like you had a nice day! Thanks for sharing these pictures with us!