Port-Royal National Historic Site of Canada
Natural Wonders & Cultural Treasures
© Parks Canada/Dan Froese
In the summer of 1605, French explorers built a settlement on a beautiful river basin near the present town of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. There the soil was fertile and the natural surroundings plentiful with fish and game. Most importantly, the Mi’kmaw people whose ancestors had lived in the region for thousands of years welcomed the men and showed them how to survive in this new climate. Christened Port-Royal, it became the first European settlement north of Florida. While only in existence a few years, the settlement, and what it accomplished, proved to be a model for future exploration of the continent.