|Fort Charlesbourg Royal|
Drawing of Charlesbourg Royal (1542)
|Location||On the north shore of the St. Lawrence River at the tip of present day Cap-Rouge|
|Area||1 hectare (2.5 acres)|
In the summer of 1541, after arriving on his third and final voyage, Jacques Cartier established a French colony of 400 people at present-day Cap-Rouge named Fort Charlesbourg Royal. It consisted of an upper fort, and lower fort located near the mouth of Cap-Rouge river. The upper fort, constructed at an elevation of 40 metres, offered a strategic defensive position, while the lower fort provided a potential anchorage for ships. The two forts had three towers. Charlesbourg Royal was named after Charles II, Duke of Orleans, third son of King Francis I of France.
During the first winter, 35 of Cartier’s men perished. Fort Charlesbourg Royal was abandoned in September 1543 due to the harsh weather, scurvy, and attacks from neighbouring Iroquoians of Stadacona and other villages.
In August 2006, Quebec Premier Jean Charest and Canadian archaeologists under Yves Chretien announced the discovery of this long-lost settlement. Chretien identified its location from fragments of a decorated c.1540-1550 Italian style ceramic plate and six wood timber samples dated to the mid-16th century by a United States laboratory.
- Conrad Heidenreich; K. Janet Ritch (2010). Samuel de Champlain Before 1604: Des Sauvages and Other Documents Related to the Period. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. pp. 43–44. ISBN 978-0-7735-3757-6.
- Canwest News Service (August 22, 2006). "Pottery shard unearths North America's first French settlement". Canada.com. Retrieved May 3, 2012.