Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada

About Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada
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Sackville Street
Halifax, Canada
Clock Tower
From the Parks Canada website: "From the time of its founding in 1749 through the 19th century, Halifax was one of four principal overseas naval stations in the British Empire. To defend Halifax, British military authorities built a series of fortifications in and around this strategic port - a system now known as the Halifax Defence Complex .

The present Citadel, completed in 1856, is the fourth in a series of forts since 1749 to occupy the hill overlooking the harbour. It is an excellent example of a 19th-century bastion fortification complete with defensive ditch, ramparts, musketry gallery, powder magazine and signal masts. Although never attacked, the fort was garrisoned by the British Army until 1906 and by Canadian Forces during the First and Second World Wars.

The fourth Citadel was established to guard against a land-based attack from the United States. This massive, star-shaped, masonry fortification took 28 years to build. Constructed originally as a smoothbore fortification, the Citadel quickly became obsolete with the introduction of powerful rifled guns in the 1860s. In response to the rapidly changing times, the Citadel upgraded its armaments and for the first time could defend the harbour as well as the land approach because the new artillery fired heavier shells a greater distance and with more accuracy.

The major role for the Citadel after the turn of the century was to provide barrack accommodations and act as a command centre for other harbour defences. When the Second World War broke out in 1939, the Citadel was used as a temporary barracks for troops going overseas and as the centre for anti-aircraft operations for Halifax. The Citadel was the "last view of the country for so many thousands outward bound and the first landmark to those who returned."

Today, the Citadel is operated by Parks Canada and is recognized as one of the most important historic sites in Canada. Restored to the mid-Victorian period with a living history program featuring the 78th Highland Regiment, the Royal Artillery, Soldier's Wives and Civilian Tradespersons, a visit to the Citadel is an educational and enjoyable heritage experience. Guided tours, an audio-visual presentation and modern exhibits communicate the historical themes of the Citadel's commemoration as nationally significant in Canadian history."
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Getting there:
The entrance to Citadel Hill by car is near the corner of Sackville and Brunswick St.
Last edited on Apr 7, 10 3:17 PM.
Contributors: Kate H. , Sigrún G. Show History
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2 Reviews of Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada  
First To Review: Sigrún G.
5.0 star rating
Apr 7, 2010
Citadel Hill is a fantastic place to visit, and it's hard to miss! If you're planning on visiting the Halifax Waterfront, just walk a few blocks up the hill and you'll be at the Halifax Clock Tower. Climb the stairs to the top of Citadel Hill. The views of Halifax and its surroundings are incredible, which is mostly due to the by-laws that prevent buildings being constructed in certain zones so that the Citadel always has a clear view of key places of interest in Halifax (like McNab's Island, the bridges, etc.). Take the time and pay the fee to go inside the fort, it really is worth a visit! And if you're lucky you'll be there when they "light" the canons!
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5.0 star rating
Jul 25, 2008
One of Canada's most visited national historic sites, the Citadel features exhibits, audio-visual presentations, guided tours, the noon gun and the 78th Highland Regiment and from the walls around the masonry fort you can get a good view over Halifax
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