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.
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