Three iconic destinations in Nova Scotia

Three iconic destinations in Nova Scotia


For the second time we visit the Canadian city of Halifax on a cruise ship. For the first time, the Celebrity Summit brought us to the capital of the province of Nova Scotia. This time we're using it MS Zuiderdam the Holland America Line.

View of Halifax from the cruise ship

View from the cruise ship Halifax


We remember the Halifax metropolitan area well since our first visit. For this reason, this time we are taking a trip along the south coast of Nova Scotia. Individual destinations are: the small towns of Lunenburg and Mahone Bay as well as the town of Peggy's Cove with its famous lighthouse. The destinations mentioned are considered Nova Scotia's top attractions.

Lunenburg

The first destination is the small town of Lunenburg, 100 kilometers from Halifax. The city is picturesquely located on Lunenburg Bay. The city was founded in 1753 on a British initiative. At that time the region already belonged to the British Empire. What bothered the British Crown's trustees was the imbalance between the few Protestant Britons and the majority of Catholic French. Canada was a French colony until 1763. Since British citizens did not want to warm to the inhospitable area, predominantly German-speaking settlers were brought into the country. They were granted free acquisition of land, free exercise of religion and free passage across the Atlantic. In the final phase of immigration, all Germans entered the country. The town was renamed Lunenburg. There is no clear evidence for the name; It is assumed that there is a connection with the Lower Saxony “Lüneburg”. Street names, recipes and festivals still remind us of the German population today.

lunenburg waterfront

Lunenburg Waterfront


Lunenburg – dependent on fishing, shipbuilding and tourism

Economically, Lunenburg has long depended on fishing and the construction of wooden ships. The replica of the Bounty, we remember from the film “Mutiny on the Bounty”, was built true to the original in Lunenburg. At present, tourism outweighs other economic sectors.

Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic - Schooner Bluenose llFisheries Museum of the Atlantic - Schooner Bluenose ll


Lunenburg – the UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1995 the city was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The United Nations Organization considered Lunenburg to be an outstanding example of a colonial city planned by Great Britain according to a grid pattern that was not subject to any significant change until modern times. The overall appearance of the city as well as the colorful wooden architecture typical of the place were the reason for its inclusion on the World Heritage List. The houses, many of which were built in the 18th century, were often built by ship carpenters.

Seafood restaurant on Montague Street


Seafood restaurant on Montague Street


Wooden houses on King Street


Wooden houses on King Street 


Lunenburg's sights

Lunenburg is not particularly rich in sights. Instead, it is the overall look of the city that makes it look like an entire attraction. But there are some striking points in the urban fabric that we would like to introduce:

Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

The Fisheries Museum, located on the “Waterfront,” allows its visitors to take part in life in a community focused on fishing, and life in and on the sea is also adequately explained. The museum buildings were once used to process freshly caught fish. The museum's Ice House Theater shows fishing-themed films during the day, the Grand Banks schooner Theresa E Connor is open for viewing, and souvenirs can be purchased at the Salt Store Gift Shop. The shop is located in the former salt warehouse, which was also used as a storage area and cooperage.

Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic
Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic
Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic
Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic - Capt. S. Fogg

  Tickets: Adults pay 14,50 Canadian dollars (approx. 10 euros); Discounts are granted.
Open from mid-May to mid-October.

Four churches

The new settlers were guaranteed the freedom to practice their religion. Consequently, there are four churches in the old town area that attract the attention of visitors.

Central United Church

The former Methodist Church on Cumberland Street was consecrated in 1885. It is the largest church in the city.

Central United ChurchCentral United Church


St Andrews Presbyterian Church

The clapboard-clad church, built in the neo-Gothic style, dates back to 1828. It is one of Canada's Historic Places. The church tower is remarkable.

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church


St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church


St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church


St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church 


St John's Anglican Church

St. John's was the first church built in Lunenburg in 1753. In 2005 it was restored after fire damage. The church's crypt was temporarily used for burials.

St John's Anglican Church


St John's Anglican Church


St. John's Anglican Church - back


St. John's Anglican Church - back 


Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church

When the first German settlers arrived in Lunenburg, they held their church services in an open field. In 1772, a predecessor church to the current church was built. The church was built in the High Victorian style and was consecrated in 1890.

Zion ChurchZion Church


Town Hall

Lunenburg's landmark town hall was built in the late 19th century in the Second Empire style. The Town Hall is located on a hillside in the old town area. Unlike the surrounding wooden private and commercial buildings, it is a striking three-and-a-half-story building constructed of red brick and granite trim. It is used as an administration and court building.

Lunenburg's Town HallLunenburg's Town Hall


There is a small park next to the Town Hall. As befits English communities, there is the inevitable bandstand used for regular events. Between the town hall and the bandstand, the War Memorial commemorates the dead of the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War.

What is striking is a memorial stone that commemorates the Norwegian Navy's “Camp Norway” training area. During the invasion of Norway by German troops in World War II, Norwegian marines were trained in Lunenburg and other coastal towns. Likewise, Norway's merchant ships were instructed not to call at ports of friendly nations that were not at risk. The memorial stone is also dedicated to those sailors who died on merchant ships.

Cumberland Street - Heritage Bandstand
Cumberland Street - War Memorial
Cumberland Street - War Memorial
Cumberland Street - Monument to the Norwegians

Lunenburg Academy

Lunenburg Academy is a massive, three-story, wooden Victorian building. Painted in bold red, black and white tones, the building was built between 1893 and 1895. It stands on Gallows Hill. Colloquially it is “the castle on the hill”. The building never had anything to do with a royal seat. It was a school, and today it is a symbol of the few remaining public schools of the 19th century. . The Academy is an example of the development of education in 19th century Nova Scotia from one-room schoolhouses to the academy system. It was only in 2012 that school operations were relocated to another location. The “national historic site” has since been managed as a rental property by a foundation. Lunenburg Academy is surrounded by cemeteries on three sides.

Lunenburg Academy


Lunenburg Academy 


Hillcrest Cemetery next to Lunenburg Academy


Hillcrest Cemetery next to Lunenburg Academy 


Lunenburg's cityscape

The historic center is almost exclusively dominated by wooden houses in muted or fresh colors. Stone houses, like the Town Hall or the chapel-like stone building of the Bank of Montreal, seem a little out of place.

Residential buildings on Townsend Street
Residential and commercial building on King Street
Houses on Bluenose Street
Bank of Montreal

The hillside location of the city is unusual. Since the cityscape is arranged in a rectangular shape, the cross streets have unusual gradients. One cannot imagine how horse-drawn vehicles managed these climbs.

lunenburg lincoln barberBarbershop on steep Lincoln Street


The number of art galleries is striking in the cityscape. Compared to other cities, the density of galleries is quite high.

Aurie Swim GalleryAurie Swim Gallery


All in all: Lunenburg scores with visitors with its beautiful landscape and an interesting cityscape. We won't soon forget Lunenburg and the places worth seeing mentioned. If you have the opportunity to stay, we recommend using the time to do so.

Mahone Bay – an unexpected discovery

Lunenburg and Mahone Bay are barely more than ten kilometers apart. Lunenburg visitors would be well advised to stop by Mahone Bay as well. The town is located on the bay of the same name, which, if you can trust hearsay, has 365 islands. We get to know a small town embedded in a maritime landscape whose location we consider to be spectacular.

Mahone Bay - Homes on Oakland Road


Mahone Bay - Homes on Oakland Road


Mahone Bay - Ernst Brook with the Bandstand


Mahone Bay - Ernst Brook with the Bandstand 


The landmark of Mahone Bay are three well-preserved historic churches that line the shore of the bay. They are the…

St James Anglican Church,
St. John's Lutheran Church,
United Church Mahone Bay.

St James Anglican Church
St James Anglican Church
St. John's Lutheran Church
United Church Mahone Bay

Interestingly, the Three Churches Foundation, which was founded in 2013, is committed to preserving the appearance of the three places of worship.

In the town center we mainly see wooden houses. Many of the 19th century The buildings created are characterized by fresh colors. In the galleries, shops and boutiques, which are mostly geared towards the tastes and needs of tourists, local products are primarily marketed.

Teazer - Gift Shop
Buchanans
Autumn mood in Mahone Bay
Mahone Bay - Deli Market

During the fall season, Mahone Bays prepares for the Scarecrow Festival. Hundreds of these objects are made for the “Scarecrow Festival”, which initially stand in the front gardens of residents and later compete for attention as part of an exhibition.

Fall decorations in Mahone Bay


Fall decorations in Mahone Bay


Fall decorations in Mahone Bay


Fall decorations in Mahone Bay 


Peggy's Cove

Nearly ninety kilometers separate Mahone Bay from the picturesque fishing village of Peggy's Cove. The place is our third recommendation for a day-long tour from Halifax. The tiny traditional fishing village on the east coast of St. Margarets Bay is embedded in a breathtaking coastal landscape. The area is characterized by jagged granite cliffs, rugged coastlines and exhilarating views of the Atlantic. It's no wonder that the setting attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.

The pristine rocky landscape of Peggy's Cove


The pristine rocky landscape of Peggy's Cove


Peggy's Cove - Residential Homes


Peggy's Cove - Residential Homes 


The most striking feature of the place is the Peggy's Cove Lighthouse: The lighthouse, built in 1914/15, is one of Canada's most famous attractions. The 15 meter high, white and red painted, active lighthouse is perched on the coastal cliffs. In 1992 he graced the Canadian 25 cent coin.

Peggy's Cove - Lighthouse


Peggy's Cove - Lighthouse


Peggy's Cove - Lighthouse


Peggy's Cove - Lighthouse 


The town's gastronomic offerings also deserve special mention: they reflect the maritime tradition of the region. Of course, the few restaurants on site serve freshly caught lobster and other seafood. Speaking of lobsters: The lobster fishery is regulated for species protection reasons.

Peggy's Cove - SunbathersPeggy's Cove - Sunbathers


Which brings us to the residents' previous main occupation, fishing. Fishing still plays an important role in Peggy's Cove. The fishing boats in the harbor underline the fact.

Peggy's Cove fishing harbor
Fishing cabins at Peggy's Cove
Storage shed
Fisherman's houses

Another source of income is the art trade. Several art galleries in the village represent the local art scene. Handicrafts are also offered.

Crafts and souvenirsCrafts and souvenirs


An artist known far beyond Peggy's Cove was the native Finn and later Canadian citizen William Edward deGarthe. The place owes the “Fishermen's Monument” to him. Thirty meters wide, it depicts 32 fishermen, their wives and children as well as the patron saint of seafarers St. Elmo and the probable namesake of the town.

Fishermen's MonumentFishermen's Monument


Summary of our trip to three iconic Nova Scotia destinations

Lunenburg, Mahone Bay and Peggy's Cove are very different places in a fantastic setting. Each of the places is worth a visit. It is a real shame that the guests of the cruise ships that land in Halifax have to choose Halifax and therefore against the described excursion for mostly one-day visits. Blessed is the person who is offered a second chance for a stopover in Halifax. Cruise companies offer excursions like the one described. If you have enough time, you can do them on your own.

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