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Old Town Lunenburg

Old Town Lunenburg

Lunenburg is the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America. Established in 1753, it has retained its original layout and overall appearance, based on a rectangular grid pattern drawn up in the home country. The inhabitants have managed to safeguard the city's identity throughout the centuries by preserving the wooden architecture of the houses, some of which date from the 18th century.

Le Vieux Lunenburg

Le Vieux Lunenburg offre le meilleur exemple encore existant d'un établissement colonial britannique planifié en Amérique du Nord. Fondé en 1753, il conserve intacts sa structure d'origine, obéissant à un plan en damier conçu en métropole, ainsi que son aspect général. La population a su préserver l'identité de la ville au cours des siècles en sauvegardant l'architecture de bois de ses maisons, dont certaines datent du XVIIe siècle.

مدينة لونينبورغ القديمة

تعطي مدينة لونينبورغ القديمة المثال الأفضل حتى اليوم عن مدينة مستعمرة بريطانية منظمة في أميركا الشمالية. تأسست في العام 1753 وهي لا تزال تحافظ على شكلها العام وهيكليتها الأصلية المطابقة لتخطيط على شكل مربّعات منسّقة تمّ تصميمه في البلد الأصلي. ولقد نجح سكان لونينبورغ القديمة في الحفاظ على هوية المدينة على مرّ العصور من خلال صون الهندسة الخشبية لبيوتها، ومنها ما يرقى إلى القرن السابع عشر.

source: UNESCO/ERI

卢嫩堡旧城

卢嫩堡是英国在北美规划的殖民地住区典范,建于1753年,有保存完好的原始布局和完整的外观,城市整体结构呈矩形,摹仿了英国本土的城市规划结构。几个世纪以来,当地居民尽量保持城市的特性,为此他们不遗余力地保留那些木结构的房屋,其中有些房屋的历史可追溯到18世纪。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Исторический город Луненберг

Луненберг – это лучший из дошедших до наших дней примеров британских колониальных поселений в Северной Америке. Основанный в 1753 г., город сохранил свою первоначальную планировку и общий облик, определенный перпендикулярной решеткой улиц, проект которой был разработан в метрополии. Жителям удалось сберечь своеобразие города, сохранив архитектуру деревянных зданий, отдельные из которых были построены еще в XVIII в.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Ciudad vieja de Lunenburgo

Lunenburgo es el mejor ejemplo existente de un asentamiento colonial brití¡nico planificado en América del Norte. Fundada en 1753, la ciudad conserva incólumes su aspecto general y su trazado primigenio en forma de damero, que fue diseñado en la metrópoli. La población ha sabido preservar la identidad de la ciudad a lo largo de los siglos, conservando la arquitectura de madera de sus viviendas, algunas de las cuales datan del siglo XVIII.

source: UNESCO/ERI

ルーネンバーグ旧市街

source: NFUAJ

Oude stad van Lunenburg

Lunenburg is het best bewaarde voorbeeld van een Britse koloniale nederzetting in Noord-Amerika. De oude stad werd in 1753 gesticht en heeft haar oorspronkelijke ontwerp en uitstraling behouden. Het ontwerp is gebaseerd op een rechthoekig rasterpatroon opgesteld in het land van herkomst (Groot-Brittannië). Door de zorg voor de houten huizenarchitectuur – waarvan sommige dateren uit de 18e eeuw – zijn de bewoners erin geslaagd om de identiteit van de stad veilig te stellen door de eeuwen heen. De economische basis van de stad is van oudsher de Atlantische visserij.

Source: unesco.nl

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Old Town Lunenburg © Our Place
Statement of Significance

Old Town Lunenburg is the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America. Established in 1753, it has retained its original layout and overall appearance, based on a rectangular grid pattern drawn up in the home country. The inhabitants have safeguarded the town’s identity throughout the centuries by preserving the wooden architecture of the houses and public buildings, some of which date from the 18th century and which constitute an excellent example of a sustained vernacular architectural tradition. Its economic basis has traditionally been the offshore Atlantic fishery, the future of which is highly questionable at the present time.

Criterion (iv): Old Town Lunenburg is a well preserved example of 18th century British colonial urban planning, which has undergone no significant changes since its foundation and which largely continues to fulfil the economic and social purposes for which it was designed. Of special importance is its diversified and well-preserved vernacular architectural tradition, which spans over 250 years.

Criterion (v): It is an excellent example of an urban community and culture designed for and based on the offshore Atlantic fishery which is undergoing irreversible change and is evolving in a form that cannot yet be fully defined.

Long Description

Lunenburg is a remarkably well-preserved town, and one which retains most of the qualities of the original British model colonial settlement, without losing its status as a fully functioning community in the modern world.

The narrow peninsula on which Lunenburg was built was first settled formally in 1753, when German, Swiss and Montbéliardian French immigrants were brought to Nova Scotia under a British colonization plan. A rigid gridiron plan was superimposed on the slope of the steep hill rising up from the harbour. The new settlement was named Lunenburg after the Royal House of Brunswick-Luneberg, from which the Hanoverian kings of England were descended. The 1453 largely German-speaking Protestants who migrated to Lunenburg in 1752-53 represent the most northerly German settlement in North America in the 18th century. German customs and the German language survived an unusually long time in Lunenburg, owing to its relative isolation.

Lunenburg was the second British colonial 'model' town plan, after Halifax (1749). The model town was an important aspect of imperial policy for the British, to provide the functional space thought necessary for the smooth working of a colony. The Lunenburg plan (1753) incorporated all the principles of the model town: geometrically regular streets and blocks; the allocation of public spaces; an allowance for fortifications; and a distinction between urban and non-urban areas. Of these all but the fortifications survive in present-day Lunenburg.

The layout of the existing town preserves almost in its entirety the model layout of the mid-18th century. The plan consisted of six divisions of eight blocks each, each block being in turn subdivided into fourteen lots. Each settler was given a town lot and a larger 'garden lot' outside the town limits. One section of the town was not divided into lots, to serve as a public parade ground.

The town site, true to then-current convention, consisted of seven north-south streets, 12.5 m wide (with the exception of King Street, which is 24.4 m wide), intersected at right angles by nine east-west streets, each 12.2 m wide, creating blocks that were further divided into 14 lots of 12.2 m by 18.3 m.

The architectural stock of Lunenburg's Old Town is remarkably homogeneous and cohesive. Over 95% of the buildings are built from wood, many of them using the coulisse construction technique that is uncommon in North America.

The founding period in the 18th century is represented by at least eight buildings of coulisse construction (wooden frames in-filled with horizontal planks). They were built close to one another and to the streets, with the wider elevation facing the harbour. Two-thirds of the buildings of Lunenburg date from the 19th century.

The earlier examples continue the 18th-century tradition. The pattern of construction of the residential buildings is repeated in the commercial and waterfront buildings, where wood predominates. The same applies to the churches: the second oldest protestant church building in Canada, St John's Anglican Church, begun in 1754, is considered by experts to be an example of 'Carpenter Gothic' at its finest.

Given the innate conservatism of the inhabitants of the town with respect to their houses, and taking account of the care being taken to restore historic houses to their original states, the level of authenticity is high on every count. The setting and layout of the town itself have changed minimally since 1753, only the defences having been demolished. Wood remains overwhelming the principal construction material and traditional techniques have been maintained when restoration has been carried out on earlier buildings.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

The narrow peninsula on which Lunenburg was built was first settled formally in 1753, when German, Swiss, and Montbeliardian French immigrants were brought to Nova Scotia under a British colonization plan. A rigid gridiron plat was superimposed on the slope of the steep hill rising up from the harbour. The new settlement was named Lunenburg after the Royal house of Brunswick-Lüneberg, from which the Hanoverian Kings of England were descended. The 1453 largely German-speaking protestants who migrated to Lunenburg in 1752-53 represent the most northerly German settlement in North America in the 18th century. German customs and the German language survived an unusually long time in Lunenburg, owing to its relative isolation.

Lunenburg was the second British colonial "model" town plan, after Halifax (1749). The model town was an important aspect of imperial policy for the British, to provide the functional space thought necessary for the smooth working of a colony. The model for laying out new towns in the colonies was created by the Board of Trade and Plantations. The Lunenburg plan (1753) incorporated all the principles Of the model town: geometrically regular streets and blocks; the allocation of public spaces; an allowance for fortifications; and a distinction between urban and non-urban areas. Of these all but the fortifications survive in present-day Lunenburg.

The town is home to the oldest continuous worshipping Lutheran and Presbyterian congregations in Canada, both having been founded in 1753.

During the 19th century the town developed a strong economy based on fishing and shipbuilding. These industries expanded in the 20th century. In the 1850s it sent the first fleet to the Grand Banks; in the 1870S it revolutionized the industry with the introduction of "double dory" trawl fishing; in the 19205 it was at the forefront of the development of fresh-fish processing in Canada; and today it is the base for Canada's largest fish-processing plant and fleet of deep-sea trawlers. Lunenburg was, and remains, an important centre for shipbuilding and related industries. It is one Of the very few communities in North America Where traditional shipbuilding Skills are still to be found.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation