The Place: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
The Treasure: Lunenburg!
The port town of Lunenburg on the south shore has a deep and interesting history. One of only two UNESCO world heritage cities in North America (at the time I write this), it has kept the same basic layout and many of the same buildings for 250 years.
Lunenburg’s ties to the sea are both beautiful and tragic. Near the dockside there is a memorial to those lost at sea and farther down the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. We were short on time for the visit and had to go through the museum quicker than we’d hoped – You’d have to visit it several times to really take it all in, but be sure to tour the boats moored dockside. Usually the Bluenose II is there but it’s being rebuilt, you can check the progress out here: Bluenose II rebuild
One of my favourite things about Lunenburg is the architectural gift known as the Lunenburg Bump. Would also make a really swanky polka song name. A Lunenburg Bump is basically an extension out from the regular roof line often used as a seating area or look off.
Also on the architecture theme is the Lunenburg Academy, which recently held it’s last class, having been in use for some 117 years. An absolutely stunning building at the top of a hill. It’s worth a drive up to get out and walk around it. I don’t know what their plans are for the building but I hope it becomes some kind of museum or otherwise accessible to the public.
In between the Academy on the hill and the waterfront is a war memorial. Well laid out it features a statue commemorating the soldiers that fought and behind that an archway that reads “Their Name Liveth Forevermore” There’s more to this particular area than I will write because some of it should be discovered on your own. The day we were there it was quite quiet in the town and there was a sense of ‘thanks for visiting’ when we approached the memorial.
Lunenburg has a very different feel to it than other costal towns we’ve visited. Not just the fact that you’re surrounded by history but there’s a gritty feel to it, not in a bad way. You can feel the toughness that was required to be a fisherman in this town. The hard life the sailors that lived there had. The sacrifices entire families made to the sea. There’s also a certain love for life that comes from that, a willingness to enjoy things as they come.
I’d say the only thing I’d change about Lunenburg is better access to the wharf areas because it’d be nice to be closer to this as you stroll along:
Even a quick visit with friends in Lunenburg tends to turn in to a let’s walk around and just be here event for us. Lunenburg, and the ocean, has a way of making you relax and feel at home…
Here is the current weather and a map to help you plan your trip:
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