Landscape of Grand Pré, Canada

An exceptional traditional agricultural landscape and iconic place of remembrance

Aerial view of the dykelands (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

First developed by the Acadians in the 1680s, the dykelands, fields and villages on the hills were then taken over and enlarged by descendants of the Planters of New England, then by immigrants, including English and Scots, in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the Dutch, after World War II.

Photo of the fields (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

The View Park offers a great opportunity to experience the timeless beauty of the Landscape of Grand Pré. In the distance, Cape Blomidon reminds visitors of the importance of the Landscape to the Mi’kmaq, the area’s first inhabitants.

Memorial Church (back) (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

The Grand-Pré Memorial Church was built by the Acadian community in 1922 as a memorial to the Acadians who were deported in the middle of the 18th century. Located close to where the original church of Saint-Charles-des-Mines stood until 1755, the Memorial Church forms part of Grand-Pré National Historic Site, administered by Parks Canada.

Deportation Cross (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

The Deportation Cross was erected in 1924 to mark the location from which the Acadians were deported in 1755. It was relocated to Horton Landing (Vieux Logis) in 2005, closer to the area where Acadian families boarded small boats to transport them to the ships for their forced exile to New England colonies.

Artistic photo (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

The Landscape of Grand Pré is not only a very rich living agricultural landscape, it is also a place that has attracted photographers and artists since the 19th century.

Grand Pré marshland (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

The western part of Grand-Pré National Historic Site where the blacksmith shop is located provides an opportunity to see the dykelands close-up. It was in this part of the marsh where the Acadians began their dyke building process which eventually included most of the Grand Pré marsh.

Parks Canada red chairs (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

At the View Park, visitors often sit in the Parks Canada red chairs to appreciate the view of the Landscape.

Picnic in the Memorial Gardens (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

The memorial gardens located within Grand-Pré National Historic Site offer a great opportunity for a picnic. The formal gardens were developed by the Dominion Atlantic Railway as part of the creation of a memorial park at Grand Pré.

Memorial Church (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

Grand Pré is the iconic place of remembrance of the Acadian diaspora. Its memorials form the centre of the symbolic re-appropriation by the Acadians of their former lands.

Sunset, tractor (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

The Landscape of Grand Pré bears exceptional testimony to a traditional farming settlement created in the 1680s by the Acadians in an intertidal area, with tides over 11 metres, among the highest in the world.

Sunset, marsh road with fence posts (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

The land reclamation used traditional techniques of dykes and aboiteaux (wooden-sluices) and a drainage network, as well as a community-based management system still in use today. The dykeland owners are members of the Grand Pre Marsh Body which coordinates the collective management of the lands.

Interior of Memorial Church (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

Paintings within the Memorial Church depict the history of this important Acadian settlement including the Deportation which began in 1755.

A living agricultural landscape (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

The Landscape of Grand Pré is a living agricultural landscape which sustains the rich dairy industry of the area. Nova Scotia’s Kings County is the province’s most important agricultural area. Early in the 20th century, the county produced some 9,000,000 bushels of apples, a good portion of which was exported to England.

Statue of Evangeline and Memorial Church (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

In 1847, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published the poem “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie.” Almost immediately after its release, the poem obtained worldwide popularity and generated considerable interest in Grand Pré. On July 29, 1920, the Dominion Atlantic Railway unveiled a bronze sculpture of Evangeline, produced by sculptors Henri Hébert and his father, Louis-Philippe Hébert.

The Sun Sets on the Landscape of Grand Pré (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

At the eastern limit of the Landscape of Grand Pré World Heritage Site, at Horton Landing, two monuments are dedicated to the Acadians and the New England Planters. The Acadian settlers were involved in the establishment of the dykelands and the New England Planters have expanded and maintained these lands for over two hundred and sixty years.

Hay Bales (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

The presence of hay bales in the landscape reminds us that this is a living agricultural landscape protected by kilometres of dyke walls.

Pastures (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

There are a number of dairy farms which benefit from the rich pastures and dykelands.

Public Consultations (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

Landscape of Grand Pré Incorporated, which coordinates the management of the lands which form part of the World Heritage Site and its buffer zone, has the following vision: Our communities and partners work collaboratively and proudly to protect and champion the living cultural and agricultural landscape of Grand Pré for the world to appreciate.

A Place for Peaceful Enjoyment (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

Many visitors are drawn to the Landscape of Grand Pré to simply enjoy its timeless beauty. The Parks Canada Agency administers Grand-Pré National Historic Site and the lands which form part of the View Park.

Flags at the View Park (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

The Grand Pré View Park was created as a legacy to the local area communities who supported the inscription of the Landscape on UNESCO’S World Heritage List. Today, the View Park is enjoyed by local residents and visitors.

Evangeline Statue and Memorial Church (2012) by Landscape of Grand PréUNESCO World Heritage

The Evangeline Statue has welcomed visitors to Grand Pré for more than one hundred years. The heroine of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem has given her name to many local attractions, including the Evangeline Trail and Evangeline Beach.

Credits: Story

This exhibit was created by Landscape of Grand Pré Inc. with the support of the Parks Canada Agency:
www.landscapeofgrandpre.ca
www.pc.gc.ca

More on the Landscape of Grand Pré and World Heritage: whc.unesco.org/en/list/1404

Photos: Simon d’Entremont, Adam Cornick, Parks Canada, John Robichaud, Jamie Robertson, Claude DeGrâce and Mark Davidson.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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