Frédéric Gate

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

Through the ornate arch that has been dominating your view down the length of Rue Toulouse came most of the people, news and merchandise of the colony. Orders from the king arrived here ⁠— the gate’s name honours the royal minister who managed France’s colonies and navy. So important an entrance naturally reflected Bourbon majesty in its proud bulk and careful proportions. Construction of the gate in 1742 completed Louisbourg’s circle of fortifications on the eve of war.

The carcan
The carcan

Most large ships anchored offshore. The crews launched boats and then pushed and carried their cargo over the wharf and through the narrow gateway. The sailors who landed here represented a score of ports. On a busy summer’s day you might have heard them speaking French, English, Portuguese, Basque and Breton, joined by the German of the Swiss troops and the Mi’kmaw of the Indigenous people. Business houses, inns and taverns made the quay a gathering place for townspeople as well as mariners. Idling or going about your business here, you would have seen public announcements, auctions and even the punishment of criminals.

In the open square stands a carcan ⁠— a post with an iron collar ⁠— where those found guilty of petty crimes, such as minor theft, might be sentenced to stay so that the public could witness their punishment. The purpose of public punishment was to show people that justice was carried out, to enforce order, and to deter others from crime.

Destouches Property

Destouches Property

The military engineers hoped to see imposing masonry houses enhancing their quayside facade, and the 1737 fire that destroyed three wooden buildings here seemed to provide their opportunity. But by 1745 only one house stood in the gap ⁠— the straightforward rubblestone home built for retired soldier Nicolas Pugnant dit Destouches. Destouches ran a commercial bakery, and fire prevention may have been his motive for going to the extra expense of building in stone.

Like his neighbour Grandchamp, Destouches left a home and business to support his family when he died in 1740. Women worked in Louisbourg. Marie Brunet, the baker’s widow, had probably been active in the business long before his death and, like Jeanne Galbarette and the widow Grandchamp, she successfully managed the family business for years. One son lived here, and the rest of the house could have housed apprentices, indentured workmen and lodgers.

The reconstructed site
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
Fortress of Louisbourg - Reconstructed buildings
On the map Building name
1 Desroches House (Wheelchair accessible)
- Dauphin Gate
- Dauphin Demi-Bastion
2 Powder Magazine
3 Barracks
4 Postern Tunnel
5 Embrasures at Lartigue
6 Lartigue House (Wheelchair accessible)
- Lime Kiln
7 Artillery Storehouse
8 Artillery Forge
9 King's Bakery Food service
- Woodlot
10 Duhaget House (Wheelchair accessible)
Garrison and Fortifications Exhibit
- Icehouse
11 De la Perelle House (Wheelchair accessible)
Congrégation de Notre-Dame Exhibit
12 De la Perelle Storehouse
13 Engineer's Residence
14 Laundry and Stables
15 Rodrigue House
16 Rodrigue Storehouse
17 De Gannes House (Wheelchair accessible)
18 Guardhouse
- King's Bastion
19 Military Chapel
20 Governor's Apartments
Fortress of Louisbourg - Reconstructed buildings
On the map Building name
21 King's Bastion Barracks
Reconstruction, Tools of War, and Archeological Typography Exhibits
- King's Garden
22 McLennan Centre (Wheelchair accessible) (Wifi available)
Virtual Reality Experience
23 De la Plagne (Wheelchair accessible) (Information)
24 De la Vallière House
Mi'kmaw Interpretive Centre
25 De la Vallière Storehouse
26 De la Vallière Storehouse II
- Fizel and Loppinot Properties
- Dugas House
27 Carrerot House
Building Techniques Exhibit
28 Benoist House (Wheelchair accessible) (Gift shop)
29 L'Épée Royale Café (Wheelchair accessible) Food service
30 King's Storehouse
31 Hôtel de la Marine (Wheelchair accessible) Food service
32 Grandchamp House (Wheelchair accessible) Food service
- Frédéric Gate
- Carcan
33 Grandchamp Inn (Wheelchair accessible) Food service
- Destouches House
34 Ordonnateur's Residence (Wheelchair accessible)
Recollecting Lives Exhibit & Harbour Gallery
35 Bigot Storehouse
36 Stables
- Louisbourg Cross
37 Marie Marguerite Rose plaque
- Eastward along the Quay
- Ruins Walk
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