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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada


Extracts of Matters of Historical Interest from "The Huissier, News For and About the Fortress of Louisbourg Heritage Presentation Staff" By The Fortress of Louisbourg Heritage Presentation Staff


(September 22, 2003)


By Bill O'Shea

The cross with the two arms that is being sold in the gift shop is called a cross of Lorraine. It is an adaptation of one found at an archaeological site appropriate for our period.

There are a number of styles of cross. The crucifix recently installed in the chapel, for example, with one long vertical piece crossed by a shorter horizontal beam is known as a Latin cross.

A cross with the vertical piece crossed by two shorter horizontal beams is a Patriarchal Cross. The cross of Lorraine is a specific Patriarchal cross. In 1241, a crusader was given a cross with two arms that was said to be fashioned from wood of the cross on which Christ was crucified. The cross came to France and during the 100 years war, was kept at Angers under the protection of the Duc d'Anjou, and was known as the Cross of Anjou. In 1477, the duc de Lorraine placed the double armed cross on his flag and his victory at Nancy that year resulted in the cross being known as the Cross of Lorraine.

In 1940 the Cross of Lorraine was adopted by General Charles de Gaulle as the symbol of the French resistance movement against Nazi Germany. And from 1902 to the present the Cross of Lorraine has been used as a symbol for the global fight against tuberculosis.

Louis XV married Marie Leszczynski in 1727. He named his father-in-law Stanislaus, the deposed king of Poland, duc de Lorraine for life.

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Photo: Fortress staff
Lorraine Crosses excavated
at Louisbourg dating to the 1730s

Photo: Fortresse staff
Editor's note: The cross of Lorraine is found in
the reconstruction as part of the commercial mark
(marque de commerce) for Phillipe LeNeuf (De la Vallière)
de Beaubassin. Some bales with this insignia are kept in the
 main De la Vallière storehouse.