Saturday, November 24, 2012

Halifax Citadel

Sorry my blog has been quiet these past few days. Work took me to Halifax. I managed to sneak in a day of site seeing and stopped first at the Halifax Citadel. Coming from the Prairies, most of my experience has been with log palisade forts, such as Fort Calgary (although I did get to Fort York in Toronto this spring). Damn, are proper fortifications amazing!

Clicking on the aerial shot (looking southish) is worthwhile. It shows the size of the main fortification, the relative position of the various elements from the pictures below, and the other locations of harbour defense (the two islands in the bay plus several other batteries).

I arrived on Sunday morning at 10 and had the place to myself for almost an hour. Above is the entrance. This takes you through an outer wall, along a walkway over the main ditch and through another tunnel into the main parade grounds. Note the chimneys on the top of the main wall, venting the barracks built into the wall.

The inner ditch was quite impressive (although inaccessible). The main parade grounds are enormous. I've tried to capture the size from the shot from the south wall below. The building is four stories high and about 2/3rds of the way to the north wall. This is no fur trading fort!

There are multiple examples of guns. The one below now enfilades a lawn bowling green and I believe the cannon was from 1867. There older guns on wooden rigs. Most look to throw balls about seven inches in diameter.

You can also get a pretty decent look at contemporary naval facilities (pair of frigates below--out of frame to the left looked to be a pair of at-sea-replenishment ship).  The Halifax explosion during WW1 happened in the bay just to the left of the photo. While the citadel was pretty dead while I was there, it looks like a lively place with re-enactors during the summer.

The hike up to the citadel from the harbour was pretty impressive--maybe 400 vertical feet? I was happy to sit down when I got to the gate. I doubt I have been much use carrying an 80lb pack and trying to assault it.


Dave said...

Great pics Bob, the Citadel is pretty impressive.

How did you get the aerial shot?

Bob Barnetson said...

Google is the source of the aerial shot. Yeah, the citadel is pretty amazing. Having done some landscaping, the sheer volume of stone and dirt involved is astounding. Sure, they built it over 100 years and all, but wow.

fireymonkeyboy said...

Nice! I often take the boy here when I come out to visit him. Nothing quite like peeking out one of the gun embrasures ;)

Bob Barnetson said...

Oh yeah, what a commanding view of the harbour (obviously) If I make it back and have time, I'd like to get out to the island fortifications which apparently contain extensive tunnels and whatnot.