Landscape of Grand Pre - UNESCO World Heritage Site
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
A UNESCO world heritage site is a place that has cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. The sites are judged by the UN to be important to the collective interests of humanity. Nova Scotia currently has three such sites – the Cliffs at Joggins for the fossils, Old Town Lunenburg for its cultural and historic importance, and the Landscape of Grand Pre, which is the photo for this week.
Grand Pre is the site, as most Nova Scotians know, of the deportation of the Acadians as memorialized by Longfellow in his poem Evangeline. The French folk living in Nova Scotia, after the fall of fortress Louisbourg, were given the choice of taking a loyalty oath to the British or of being deported out of the Province. In late 1755, thousands of Acadians were expelled from Grand Pre and taken to places as far away as Louisiana (hence the term Cajun which has historical roots in the Acadians who ended up there) and France. Many would return here after allowed by an Act passed in 1764, but in the interim the British had encouraged folks from New England to move here, hence the Planters or “pre-Loyalists” as some refer to that group.
The Landscape of Grand Pre is a gorgeous overlook which takes in the view of the church at Grand Pre and the dykelands the Acadians protected from salt water by hard hand labour in the 1600’s in the foreground, and the cliffs of Blomidon in the background, with the Minas Basin, the top end of the Bay of Fundy and its terrific tides, mixing together to form a glorious panorama. It is indeed a most significant and beautiful landscape, but one that has that background of sadness and heartbreak.
Having spent much of my youth in this area, the view here is meaningful for me, but it is also one that the UN has rightly declared is of significance to all of us. That it is preserved is important and right. The image this week is of this special place, and is on display in the Teichert Gallery at the Art Gallery Of Nova Scotia as one the Gallery's new works. I am pleased they selected this image for inclusion.