Champlain--the bronze bust above--was one of the great French explorers.
In 1605 Samuel de Champlain arrived on the shores of the Annapolis River. There, along with Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, he founded the settlement of Port Royal on the edge of the Annapolis Basin, across the river from present-day Annapolis Royal. During those first years, the men traded furs with the Mi'kmaq native tribe and developed a good relationship with them. (The Mi'kmaq had occupied the land of what became the Maritime provinces for thousands of years, long before the Europeans arrived.)
Below, a replica of the original settlement at Port Royal.
Unfortunately, that settlement was destroyed by the English in 1613 and abandoned by the French. Although left with only the clothes they wore and without any cover from the weather, the men managed to survive the following long, cold winter due to help from the native people. They later returned to France.
The pictures below show the entrance way into the settlement and the inner courtyard..
The cross shown is on the outer grounds of the site.
In about 1629 the Scots attempted to colonize New Scotland (their name for present-day Nova Scotia). They built a fort which evidence suggests was on the land of today's Fort Anne, one of the main tourist attractions in present-day Annapolis Royal. That colony reverted back to France in 1630 and a second French settlement was then established at what we now know as Annapolis Royal. It was named Port Royal after the original settlement and became the capital of the French colony of Acadia, which then comprised what is now Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
In 1634 Charles de Menou D'Aulnay erected the first of four forts to be built on this piece of land. He was responsible for establishing the Acadians at the second Port Royal. Although subject to frequent attacks by British military forces and by its colonists in New England, Port Royal #2 grew for nearly a century, with Acadia remaining in French hands for most of those years. The earthworks at the fort are from the last fort built there in 1702.
Two views below of Fort Anne, situated in the centre of present-day Annapolis Royal.
In 1710 the French at Port Royal #2 were finally defeated by the British. British regiments, with their families, occupied the fort until 1854. Port Royal was renamed Annapolis Royal after Queen Anne, who was the reigning British monarch at that time. It was a combination of Port Royal, the queen's name, and the word "polis," the Greek word for city. Acadia was granted to the British in 1713 under the treaty of Utrecht. This included only the peninsula of Nova Scotia, not New Brunswick. The years following that treaty were often turbulent as Britain and France continued the struggle for Acadia and North America.