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To the Acadians, it was Mirligueche. To the English, it became Lunenburg in honour of King George II, Duke of Brunschweig-Lunenburg. To the United Nations, it is a heritage treasure unlike any other. To citizens and their visitors, it remains a fascinating blend of history and real life, a living monument to what was, and what will be.
Colonial Lunenburg sprang from the quill and imagination of Charles Morris, who as Surveyor General for the British Empire had planned many towns in the orderly gridiron that smoothly linked harbour to hills, commerce to culture. From this pattern of aligned streets embracing the parks, grounds and buildings used by all in the Town evolved a centre of Nova Scotia power second only to Halifax in its political power and population.
As brilliant as Lunenburg's evolution amid the wilds of uncolonized North America is the continued commitment of its townspeople to its preservation. Nearly 250 years after its first streets were laid, the original plans, the architecture and the uses for common spaces remain intact. New construction complements rather than replaces. New vision reveres the old. As it has welcomed seafarers for centuries, so it continues to welcome the world. This pride and preservation was crowned in 1995 when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) placed Lunenburg on its World Heritage List. The honour is immortalized in an eight-foot granite and bronze monument cast at Lunenburg Foundry. Lunenburg's pride, like its hospitality, knows no bounds.