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Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Ground Up: A Guide to French Forts in Canada

This guest post is written by Vinay Shingornikar

This post aims at shedding light on the forts established by French colonists and chartered companies in Canada. The sites range from large citadels to small trade posts that were built in the period of 1640s-1750s. Few forts were captured by the French from rival British fur trading companies. Even though most establishments are reduced to ruins and have disappeared over time, few forts have survived the battles and have been reconstructed.

The French forts in Canada stand testament to the country's history and deliver an insight on regional culture and background. Along with rich history, these windows to the past also present spectacular views and exciting activities for all ages.

French forts in Canada.

Fort St. Anne  Fort Espérance Fortress of Louisbourg 
Bas de la Rivière  Fort Frontenac  Citadelle of Quebec 
Fort Beauséjour Fort Gaspareaux Fort Maurepas  
Fort Boishebert Fort Royal (Plaisance)  Fort Paskoya 
Fort Bourbon Fort Saint Jacques  Fort Richelieu  
Castle Hill  Fort Saint-Jean Fort Rouge  
Fort Chambly  Citadelle of Montreal Fort Rouillé 
Fort de la Montagne  Fort Sainte Anne Fort Sainte Thérèse  
Citadelle of Quebec  Fort Kaministiquia Fort Senneville  
Fort de la CorneFort La Reine Fort St. Pierre 
Fort Dauphin  Fort La Jonquière  Fort Ville-Marie 

Brief information on some prominent historic forts

Citadelle of Quebec (Constructed in 1693)

Quebec City is the only city in North America that still holds its historic city walls. The Citadelle is a part of the city fortifications. Located atop Cap Diamant, it served as a military base and residence for officials. The Quebec Parliament Building and provincial government buildings are located in close proximity to this historic site.

How to reach – Take a flight to Quebec City and head to the Plains of Abraham near the coast. The Citadelle stands adjoining to these plains.

Fort Rouillé (Constructed in 1750)

Established around 1750, Fort Rouillé was a French trading post. It was also referred to as Fort Toronto because it is located in Toronto, Canada. In the past, the French fort was surrounded by a wall and housed five buildings, including quarters for soldiers and senior officers. Currently, a large obelisk marks the spot where the fort originally stood.

How to reach – Fort Rouillé is located within the city limits of Toronto. Hence, if you visit Toronto, you can check the site at your convenience.

Fort Senneville (Constructed in 1671)

Fort Senneville was constructed by the Canadiens of New France in 1671. It is one of the most remotely located forts of Montreal, Canada. Formerly, it was highly esteemed for its powerful cannons and wall guns. Fort Senneville was destroyed under the successive British rule in 1776. The ruins have been maintained ever since. It was acknowledged as a historic site in 2003.

How to reach - Fort Senneville is situated near the Sainte-Anne rapids on the Island of Montreal. Hence, head to the southwestern tip of the island if you fly to Montreal and land at the airport.

Fort Saint-Jean (Constructed in 1666)

Originally built by the soldiers of the Carignan-Salières Regiment, Fort Saint-Jean was a part of a chain of French forts constructed along the Richelieu River. Over the years, the fort was reconstructed several times. It is worth noting that the fort sets itself as a military site that has been under constant occupancy for the longest time after Quebec City in Canada. Currently, it houses the Royal Military College of Saint-Jean and is recognized as a National Historic Site.

How to reach – The historic Fort Saint-Jean is located on the Richelieu River. This region falls under the Canadian La Vallée-du-Richelieu Regional County Municipality, Quebec.

Fort de la Montagne (Constructed in 1685)

Fort de la Montagne is also known as Fort des Messieurs or Fort Belmont. It is considered among the oldest structures in the Island of Montreal. Formerly, the fort had four bastions and an array of ramparts and palisades. However, these were destroyed in 1854, leaving behind two towers. In 1982, the surviving towers were identified as historical monuments and were restored between 1984 to 1986.

How to reach – To reach this site, head to the corner of Sherbrooke Street in Montréal city.

Author Bio -Vinay Shingornikar is a popular and accomplished writer having authored a number of articles across a wide variety of online publications. Currently, he is happily employed with Flight Network. Founded in 1998, Flightnetwork.com has grown to become Canada's second most visited online travel agency, specialising in offering highly discounted prices for domestic and international flights, along with hotels, cruises, vacation packages, and car rentals.

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