Annapolis Royal
Fort Anne and Annapolis Royal
Nova Scotia, Canada
July 2003

In 1605 the Habitation of Port Royal was built under the leadership of the Sieur de Mons who, on condition that he establish settlements and cultivate the land, was granted fishing and fur trading rights over a vast area. Initally this included Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and was referred to as l'Acadie.

The French settlers - Acadians - became highly proficient builders of dykes and aboiteaux (sluices) to drain the immensely fertile salt marshes. The Acadians chose to settle these reclaimed lowlands, rather than clear the higher woodland. The new settlement at Port Royal established a strong and enduring bond with the Mi'kmaq people, who not only supplied the Acadians with essential furs, but more importantly, aided them in surviving and adapting to life in the New World. Port Royal faced many difficulties and reversals as France and England struggled for control of the whole region. The area changed hands several times until, in 1710, Port Royal fell to the British for the last time and was renamed Annapolis Royal in honour of Queen Anne.

Formerly (until 1713) Port Royal, town, seat of Annapolis county, southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada. The town lies at the mouth of the Annapolis River where it enters Annapolis Basin (an arm of the Bay of Fundy), 126 miles (203 km) by road west of Halifax. Founded in 1605 as Port Royal by the explorers Samuel de Champlain and Pierre du Gua, Sieur de Monts, it was the first French colony in North America and is Canada's oldest. Today, traffic jams are not yet known here in Annapolis Royal.

At the front of Fort Anne just off the town center.

Annapolis Royal was the capital of Nova Scotia from 1710 until Halifax was founded in 1749.

The town center of Annapolis Royal. I was expecting something more lively. Annapolis Royal offers a captivating blend of heritage and charm that has made it a favourite stopping place. The town contains over 150 heritage buildings, including the oldest wooden house in Canada, the DeGannes-Cosby House, built in 1708.

A generation after Port Royal Habitation was burned to the ground, the area quickly became the cradle of French Acadie and in c1635, Fort Anne was built as a military base.

By 1710 the fort was in the hands of the British. With the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, several hundred United Empire Loyalists were given land. Fort Anne underwent modifications during both the 18th and 19th centuries. Re-constructed on the original site in 1917, Fort Anne is the oldest designated National Historic Site in Canada. The complex sits in the heart of the town of Annapolis Royal. You can't miss the tall chimneys of the reconstructed Officer's Quarters and outlying fortifications.

The water behind is the Annapolis Basin.