Grand-Pré National Historic Site

Grand-Pré National Historic Site

A significant gathering and memorial site, Grand-Pré has been named a World Heritage UNESCO site and as such represents true recognition of the entire Acadian community.

Founded in 1682, Grand-Pré, which was also named les Mines, becomes the most populated village in Acadia, including Port-Royal. Archeological sources bear witness to the family settlements founded by the Acadians as well their unique expertise in constructing dykes along the Annapolis River.

In 1755, the Church of Saint-Charles-des-Mines in Grand-Pré is the site of the proclamation of the Order of the Deportation. Reflecting by turn tragedy, emotion and the beauty of its landscape, Grand-Pré National Historic Site is an indispensable landmark.

Make the best of your time in the area to visit a number of scenic and interesting Acadian historic sites, especially the memorial site of the Battle of Grand-Pré, which is located along the road and which confirms that the French continued to fight for Acadia long after transfer of the land under the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713.

Don’t forget to stop at Grand-Pré’s Observation Park.  Located on Old Post Road, the park offers an unobstructed view of the Grand-Pré marshlands, the Memorial Church and Cape Blomidon.

The Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse would like to extend its sincere appreciation to the SODRAC as well as Mr. Calixte Duguay, author, composer and editor of Les Aboiteaux for granting the autorisation to use this central piece of the Acadian repertoire which speaks of hope and resilience. You can find this musical masterpiece at the end of the section. Enjoy listening while strolling this magnicent site. http://www.sodrac.ca

Photo: Pauline Naillon

Evangeline Beach

When leaving Grand-Pré National Historic Site, continue straight ahead along the coast. Road signs will provide directions to Evangeline Beach.

Named after the famous poem by Henry W. Longfellow, Evangeline Beach is an integral part of the cultural landscape of Grand-Pré.

At low tide, take a stroll along the enormous stretch of sand beach. Marvel at the color palette typical of the Minas Basin, ranging from red to blue with the spectacular view of the Cape Blomidon cliffs in the background! You can easily visualize the first Planter ships as they arrived and settled here more than two centuries ago.


Photo: Pauline Naillon

Deportation Cross

Located in Horton's Landing, this cross is a memorial site of the Deportation of the Acadians.  From Hortonville, follow Wharf Road and the Cross will be located at the very end of the road, directly after a farm located on your right. Please watch out for farming equipment and children in the area!

Forged from wrought iron in the Gothic style, the Cross bears the following inscription:
"The dry bed of the creek which is in sight, a few paces in the marsh is the spot where the victims of the Expulsion of the Acadians of 1755 were embarked on the small boats to be rowed over to the transports lying at anchor in Minas Basin."

A few meters away is a monument dedicated to the Planters who arrived in the region after 1755.

Take the time to visit Mosquito Point. The working model dyke and modern aboiteau demonstrate Acadian techniques used to master tides and land in order to pursue their agriculture.


Photo: Pauline Naillon

Wolfville

The small town of Wolfville and its downtown core will surely enchant you. Stop by the Wolfville Waterfront Park, where its look-off is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the Bay of Fundy landscape.

You can enjoy many scenic features along the way, including dykes, the impressive tides of the Basin, agricultural parcels made possible by the dykes as well as a view of Cape Blomidon.

Enjoy a stroll along the dykelands, where a wonderful hiking trail awaits you.

Grand-Pré National Historic Site

Pierre Melanson - also known as La Verdure - and his family are the first to settle at Grand-Pré in 1682. They transform the salt marsh land into a fertile area suitable for agricultural purposes.

On August 18, 1755, eight days after the Acadians from the Isthmus of Chignecto are attacked by the English, the Lieutenant Colonel John Winslow arrives in Grand-Pré with 315 soldiers. He constructs a palisade around the Saint-Charles-des-Mines Church, where he establishes his headquarters.

On September 5, 1755, the Order of Deportation is read simultaneously to the Acadians of Grand-Pré at the Saint-Charles Church and to the Acadians of Pisiguit, who were imprisoned a few days prior at Fort Edward. 418 men and boys over the age of 10, who were summoned to the Church, are imprisoned for the following 5 weeks.

Two thousand Acadians are deported from Grand-Pré and the surrounding area, a third of the total 6,000 Acadians deported from Nova Scotia in 1755, among them, men, women and children.

Between 1922 and 1930, a memorial chapel is constructed on what is believed to be the site where the Saint-Charles-des-Mines Church was originally erected and subsequently destroyed by fire.

In 1961, Grand-Pré is designated a National Historic Site. On June 30, 2012, the landscape of Grand-Pré is also named a UNESCO World Heritage site. For many Acadians, Grand-Pré is considered the heart of their ancestral homeland.

Les Aboiteaux, de Calixte Duguay




Excerpt of
Acadia Historic Trail

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