So when you think about old historical cities you are probably thinking about historical European cities or maybe ancient, Chinese/Indian regions but you are probably not thinking about Philadelphia as being up there with the leading locations around the world. Well, if you have an American background you are probably aware of why ‘Philly’ is such an important location in US history.
In the late 18th Century when America was still under the power of the sovereign British throne, members of the 13 original colonies embarked on a meeting place in Philadelphia and came to the decision that enough was enough and they wanted to have their independence. Cutting all ties in terms of control with the British Empire was going to be a long fought struggle but eventually on July 4, 1776 the United States of America were able to celebrate what is commonly known today as Independence Day.
Entering Philly today, you see a mixture of a remake and originality of the past two centuries of history present here. Here is a quick review of the top landmarks present in Philadelphia, PA, some of which are related to the topic of independence while others are more infamous for movie traits or other domains in society:
Walking around the guided tour which just as a sidenote requires you to get tickets (they are free by the way!) in the morning for an afternoon viewing, is a real treat and the experienced guides have plenty to talk about as they describe the rooms that you set foot in and recall how the likes of Adams, Jefferson and Washington sat in those infamous seats and discussed the nation’s future.
The bell tower steeple of Independence Hall was the original home of the Liberty Bell. It has since been moved to the Liberty Bell Center which sits just outside the grounds of Independence Hall. Walking through the location you are given detailed descriptions through wall displays and videos of the history behind the iconic bell. The final part of the self-guided tour of the Center is to actually stand beside the impressive structure.
Professor Constance M. Greiff, in her book tracing the history of Independence National Historical Park, wrote of the Liberty Bell:
The Liberty Bell is the most venerated object in the park, a national icon. It is not as beautiful as some other things that were in Independence Hall in those momentous days two hundred years ago, and it is irreparably damaged. Perhaps that is part of its almost mystical appeal. Like our democracy it is fragile and imperfect, but it has weathered threats, and it has endured.
Philadelphia City Hall
Located in the heart of downtown Philly, City Hall is the nation’s largest municipal building that serves the Philly government. It is specifically situated in the exact geographical center of William Penn’s original 1682 plans for the city, now known as the intersections of Broad and Market Streets – Center Square.
This impressive structure is at the pinnacles of the downtown area. With so much traffic moving around this area via public transportation and day to day activities, City Hall certainly does not go unnoticed to passing bystanders.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
As famous as the statue itself are the stairs leading to the East Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, aka “The Rocky Steps.” Making the iconic trip up the steps is regarded as a symbol of perseverance and determination. So now you probably realize why the Museum of Art is included in this list of Philly landmarks.
Even though I spent almost a week in Philadelphia primarily for a conference at the Pennslyvania Convention Center in downtown Philly, I had sufficient time to investigate all of the above landmarks and each one is definitely very impressive and worth visiting.