Perched 80 metres above the city of Halifax, standing guard over the historic naval city, is Fort George, more commonly known as The Halifax Citadel.
A number of fortifications have occupied the hill since the British founded Halifax in 1749, the current star-shaped fort was completed in 1856. From the ramparts overlooking one of the largest natural harbours in North America, it’s easy to see why Halifax was the most strategic, and due to The Citadel – most secure, British Port on the east coast of North America. Walking the ramparts, it’s easy to see from the views over the entire basin and
McNabs & Georges Island at the mouth of the harbour why the site was chosen as the British response to the increasing French presence at Louisberg just a few hundred kilometres up the coast.
Following the Second World War, once the threats of invasion and more powerful, modern arms made the fortress obsolete the, now Canadian
Military run, Citadel was deemed a National Historic Site and turned over to the control of Parks Canada.
Now restored to it’s mid-Victoria era heritage, it is one of Halifax’s prime attractions and still retains it’s place in the daily life of Haligonians with the ceremonial firing of the noon gun. From the moment one walks through the thick stone walls, you’re transported to the 19th century as members of the 78th Highland Regiment, 3rd Brigade of Royal Artillery, soldiers wives and local tradespeople participate in the Fort’s living history program by recreating life as it would have been. During the Christmas holiday season, the Fort recreates a “Victoria Christmas” with crafts, carols and games.
Visible from almost everywhere in the city, The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is easy to find and reachable by foot or vehicle.
Activities, reenactments and services are open from May through October. The grounds are open November to May but with no services.
Adult entrance fees range from $7.80 in shoulder season to $11.70 in peak season.
Check the Parks Canada website for further details on how to enjoy your visit to The Halifax Citadel.