Tuesday Sites

Fort Chambly National Historic Site

While up in Quebec a month or so ago, I stopped at Fort Chambly National Historic Site. It’s located south and east of Montreal. It was an absolutely gorgeous day when I was there. Alas, I arrived a bit too late, since I’d visited a different site earlier (photo & account next week!). Oh, I was able to get into the site and walk around all right . . . but, horrors of horrors (yes there’s a bit of sarcasm in this), I actually had to pay for parking. This being not only a gorgeous day but Sunday, a sizable number of citizens had come out to enjoy themselves.

The fort has a wonderful location on the river, and the park around it makes it a top-of-the-line attraction for picnickers. As shown here . . .

And then there’s the fort itself. It’s actually the last of four forts, first built in wood and only later in stone (circa 1709-1711). Originally, it was intended to protect the French against the Iroquois. Later, it was a line of defense against the English.

The entrance is on the north side (I think!) not too close to the river, but enough around that any force coming up along the river would have to go around the fort to get to the entrance.

There’s a large open space in the center, as typical of European-style forts. Nowadays, since it’s a museum, this is a staging area for all sorts of activities. For instance, as you can see at the center, one can try on an army costume (I didn’t):

Here are a few views of interior spaces — and of windows showing just how thick the walls are (plus the gorgeous view of the river!):

There’s also a place to peer down at the foundations of earlier forts, built in wood atop stone or partly wood, partly stone.

And then there’s the museum inside the fort, as well. They’ve done a very good job at making a colorful display set to appeal to many ages. Here are some photos of the individuals highlighted as part of a display on smuggling:

In short, I regret that I had not more time to spend there (and that I didn’t arrive early enough to snag a free parking spot, since there were a lot!) but that’s life. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, I recommend stopping by!

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