Grand Pré is situated at the north east end of the Annapolis Valley. It borders on the Minas Basin and the tidal lands of the Bay of Fundy. The area was settled in the 1600s by French settlers from Port Royal who reclaimed the lands from the tides and made a fertile land.
Now we see the low meadowland and dikes and on the hills above, vineyards and wineries commanding a view of the area.
The history of Grand Pré is dramatic with the land being fought over by the English and French during the 1700s and the expulsion of the Acadians from their lands in 1755. The story is well told in the multi-media centre at the Parks Canada National Historic Site. The grounds with the sweeping willow trees and wandering stream are peaceful and commemorate the deportation. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem Evangeline to bring the story to light and the statue of Evangeline and bust of Longfellow are featured in the garden.
The church, built on the site of the 17th century Acadian village (Eglise Souvenir Memorial Church) depicts life in the village and scenes of the deportation. Be sure to listen to the audio stories from the voices of 2 children.
The path off to the left of the church goes to the blacksmith forge with a lovely view of the dikes and fields below. You can bike or walk along the dikes.
Just 10 minutes from Grand Pré National Historic Park there is a large and well kept campground and the lovely Beach Breeze Motel. We stayed here and had a wonderful view of the sunset and sunrise over the vast changing tides of Fundy.
For More Information
- Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – read poem online
- Evangeline Audio Poem – download MP3 audio
- Nova Scotia Explore Fundy and Annapolis Regions
- The Société Promotion Grand-Pré – a Special Partner of Parks Canada
- Grand Pre National Historic Site – For Acadian History
- Evangeline Inn and Motel and Café
- Beach Breeze Motel, Grand Pre