Landscape of Grand Pré View Park - Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada
Facing north from the View Park towards the expanse of dykelands of the World Heritage Site. To the east and west are dykes protecting the active agricultural landscape. The Memorial Church at Grand-Pré National Historic Site can be seen in the middle distance; Long Island is to the north of the dykelands and the cliffs of Blomidon are in the far distance.
The Landscape of Grand Pré became Canada’s 16th World Heritage Site, inscribed by UNESCO in 2012. The 1300-hectare (3,212 acres) site is located on the Bay of Fundy’s Minas Basin in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley.
The Landscape of Grand Pré is recognized as an exceptional living agricultural landscape. It was first claimed from the sea by the Acadian people who, from the 1680s until their expulsion in 1755, constructed an ingenious dyking system, which turned the tidal salt marsh into thousands of acres of fertile farmland. From 1760 onward, the New England Planters, their descendants and later immigrants – including English and Scottish who came in the 19th and 20th centuries and Dutch who arrived after the Second World War -, have maintained this system while continuing with the original community-based management structure. Today the 8.8 km. of dyke walls and its 7 aboiteaux are maintained by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture.
Grand Pré is an iconic place of remembrance for the dispersed Acadians. Their memorials at Grand Pré reflect their symbolic re-appropriation of the land in the 20th century in a spirit of peace and cultural sharing with the local community. More recently, Acadians have renewed their historical harmonious relationship with the Mi'kmaq people and together have joined with the local community to celebrate the legacy and promise of this special landscape.
The full expanse of the Landscape of Grand Pré can be best appreciated from the View Park on Old Post Road. The view of the 1111-hectare (2745 acres) of dykelands within the World Heritage Site is framed by the dramatic Cape Blomidon, from which tradition holds the legendary Mi’kmaw figure Kluscap (Glooscap) kept a watchful eye over his people.
Visit Grand-Pré National Historic Site to learn more about the Acadian settlement of Grand-Pré, the Expulsion and the Acadian memorials. The World Heritage Site awaits a great deal of further interpretation but be sure not to miss the points of interest identified in the brochure.