Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada
The Halifax Citadel has long watched over the harbour and the downtown core of the capital city of Halifax. Originally built as a military fortification to protect the Empire from enemies (and the occasional pirate), today the Citadel and its distinctive Clock Tower act as a reminder of Halifax’s rich past.
Visit a place and time when the sounds of a modern, bustling port city are exchanged for the crack of rifle-fire and the skirl of bagpipes.
Soldier for a Day
Step back in time to 1869, as Canada was emerging from colony to nation, and find out firsthand what life was like for the “redcoats” stationed there.
You’ll be fitted for an authentic military uniform. The older crowd can learn how to fire an original Snider-Enfield rifle, while the younger ones will learn how to play the British Army brass shell field drum.
Halifax Citadel Ghost Tours
Slip into the shadows of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site and come find out if the many legends of ghost hauntings are true... if you dare!
Public ghost tours are offered in English every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, July through October. Private group tours in English and French can be arranged year-round.
The History of the Site
Halifax owes its existence to Citadel Hill. The strategic position overlooking the easily defended harbour below led the British military to found the town here in 1749. Among the first buildings constructed was a wooden guardhouse on top of the hill, with Halifax’s first settlers building their homes at its base closer to the water.
The fortress would be upgraded many times, becoming the imposing structure we know today. If aggressors made it past the large cannons and the deep defensive ditch, defending soldiers could point muskets from every angle of the fort’s stout walls. No enemy force ever dared to attack Halifax.