Halifax Citadel

Halifax Citadel The present citadel, located on an imposing elevation overlooking the original town and harbour of the capital of Nova Scotia, is actually the fourth fortification built on the site. Earlier works were built in 1749-50, 1776-81 and 1795-1800. Plans and estimates for the present fort were submitted in Dec 1825. Three years later the British government granted the necessary funds and work began in Sept 1828. The men most responsible for the construction were Sir James Carmichael Smyth and Col Gustavus Nicolls, both Royal Engineers officers. Construction was plagued with design and structural problems and took almost 30 years. The fort, finally completed 1855-56, cost £242 122.

The general introduction of rifled artillery (with greater range and accuracy than earlier guns) shortly after completion of the Citadel rendered the costly installation obsolescent. It was partially rearmed in the 1860s and 1870s, and continued in use as a barracks into the 20th century. Upon departure of the British garrison in 1906, it was handed over to the Canadian militia. In 1951 the site was declared a national historic park. About 1 million people visit the site annually.