Photo: The Fortress of Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Courtesy of Parks Canada.
Although the English appear to have visited the harbour in 1597, the fortress of Lousibourg was not built until 1713. In the early to mid 1700s, Louisbourg was a fortified French town and the centre of the cod fishery. Its location made it a convenient shipping point linking Europe with the "New World" of North America.
The fortress of Louisbourg was much contested during the early colonial history of Canada, and traded back and forth between the French and English as these two empire-building nations jockeyed for international influence. The English finally took control in 1758.
The rebuilding of the fortress ruins began in the 1960s. During the course of the reconstruction, archeological work has unearthed millions of artifacts. Today a visit to Louisbourg is a trip backwards through time.