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New UNESCO World Heritage Site: Nova Scotia’s Grand Pré

The historic church at Grand Pré (Photo: H. Holm, Nova Scotia Photo Album)

Every year, UNESCO adds sites of cultural or natural importance to its World Heritage List. This year’s new UNESCO World Heritage sites include 25 places, among them a species-rich coral reef system in Palau, the supposed birthplace of Jesus in Palestine, and Nova Scotia’s own historic Acadian settlement of Grand Pré, which is a Canadian national historic site.

Founded in the 17th century, Grand Pré was a farming community that used a unique hydraulic drainage system to work the marshy land that is affected by the world’s highest tides in the nearby Bay of Fundy. Archaelogical remnants of the original village of Grand Pré can still be seen here, though the majority of the Acadian community was exiled beginning in 1755 in what is known as the Grand Dérangement, or Great Expulsion.

Grand Pré is Nova Scotia’s third UNESCO World Heritage site. Others are the historic maritime village of Lunenburg and the Joggins Fossil Cliffs palaeontological site.

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