Charlottetown is located on Prince Edward Island, one of Canada's most beautiful provinces. Its red sandstone cliffs and gently rolling green hillsides led 16th-century explorer Jacques Cartier to declare it "the fairest land 'tis possible to see."
Charlottetown, set on Hillsborough Bay is the island's capital and main town, and is small and rustic, typical of old-fashioned Canada. Experience state-of-the-art exhibits at Founders Hall, an interactive museum that describes the history of Canada. The true architectural jewel of downtown Charlottetown is the majestic St. Dunstan's Basilica. Adorned by three copper spires visible virtually anywhere in the city, the church adds to the Victorian splendor of the downtown core.
Charlottetown's other attractions include Province House (1847), the home of the provincial legislature, and the Confederation Centre of the Arts (1964), which includes a library, museum, art gallery, and theatre. Also worth visiting is Cavendish National Park, including Green Gables, the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables. The annual Charlottetown Festival, one of the province's main tourist attractions, features many musical plays.
A French fortification called Port la Joie was built near what is now Charlottetown in 1720. After the British took control of the island in 1763, the community was renamed in honour of Charlotte Sophia, wife of King George III. In 1864, the city was the site of a conference that set in motion the unification of Canada. A great fire damaged much of Charlottetown in 1866.
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