Annapolis Heritage Society | Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Community History

St. George Street in 1860

Annapolis Royal is the oldest permanent European settlement in North America north of Florida. First called Port Royal by Samuel de Champlain, it was the administrative and military centre of Acadie until its final capture by the British in 1710. Renamed in honour of Queen Anne, the notable little town served as Nova Scotia’s capital until the founding of Halifax in 1749.

Located at the western end of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, the town occupies a low-lying cape at the meeting of the Annapolis and Allain’s rivers. East of town, the Annapolis River widens to form the French Basin. Below town to the west, past Goat Island, the river widens again into the Annapolis Basin, creating a huge natural harbour before emptying into the Bay of Fundy through the Digby Gut. This dramatic landscape is framed by the two parallel ranges known as the North and South Mountains.

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