Philadelphia, a city of about 1.5 million people in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, is a youthful-looking metropolis on the East Coast with historic charm. It is the second largest city on the east coast of the USA. More than 230 years ago, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington discussed here the break with the English mother country. The Declaration of Independence was adopted in Independence Hall on July 4, 1776. Next to Boston, Philadelphia is the most historic city in the USA. American history was written here. Worth seeing is the Liberty Bell, the United States Mint and the Franklin Court. The cultural metropolis Philadelphia – there are numerous art museums and many art objects in the entire city area – is also affectionately called “The City of Brotherly Love”. It is the cradle of the nation and a great American city with charm.
Tip 1: Liberty Bell
Probably the most famous bell in the world, it was cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London and sent to Philadelphia in 1752 to adorn the new Pennsylvania State House, now Independence Hall.
Before it was hung, a crack was discovered in it, whereupon it was recast by two Philadelphia craftsmen, John Stow and John Pass. The bell was rung to summon the citizens of Philadelphia on important occasions, such as the first reading of the Declaration of Independence.
The last time the bell was to strike was in 1846 for George Washington’s birthday. Although it received a new crack on that occasion and has not rung since, the Liberty Bell has become a symbol of freedom and independence for generations of Americans. Visitors can view it and have Park Rangers tell its story.
Admission to the Liberty Bell Pavilion is free. The story of the bell is available translated into several languages.
Tip 2: Independence Hall
In the historic district of Independence National Historical Park lies the famous Independence Hall. Visit this significant place, it will take you back to the exciting time of the country’s formation. Independence Hall was built at the beginning of the 18th century. Shortly thereafter, two of the most important events in American history took place here, events that were not only significant to the United States itself, but led to change around the world.
The Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the signing of the American Constitution in 1787 are considered the roots of freedom and democracy in modern society. In 1979, these two milestones in U.S. history earned the building the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tip 3: Elfreth’s Alley
In addition to the Liberty Bell and the Museum of Art, Philadelphia has a long history by American standards. Elfreth’s Alley, or the oldest inhabited street in the U.S., is a must-see on a trip to the beautiful state of Pennsylvania and takes visitors right back in time.
If you want to learn more about the history of the city during your stay, this is definitely the place to go.
The 17th century street was named after Jeremiah Elfreth, the owner and also blacksmith of the time. With buildings that are about 300 years old, the street is now a real tourist magnet and takes local people back in time a few hundred years.
Although America doesn’t necessarily have a very distant history compared to, say, Europe, the street ranks as a real highlight that should definitely be worth a little stroll. With 32 houses built over the years, Elfreth’s Alley decisively shapes the cityscape and reminds us of the gradual change of the city of Philadelphia.
While surrounding streets have already adapted to modernity, the Alley has always retained its old atmosphere.
Tip 4: Barnes Foundation
The Barnes Foundation is an institution of higher learning in Pennsylvania. The art collection, which was on display in the suburb of Merion until 2011, has been open to the public since May 2012 in a new building on Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia (where the Art Museum is also located).
There, in a new building designed by the architect couple Williams/Tsien, the collection is open to a larger audience and, with an integrated bookstore and restaurant, is also designed for larger numbers of visitors. The art collection includes masterpieces of French Impressionism and Late Impressionism. To mention just a few names: Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Edouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec and Henri Rousseau.
Tip 5: Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located between 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, about 15 minutes by foot from City Hall. From here you have a very good view of the skyline and the rest of the city. In front of the museum there is a statue of the boxer Rocky Balboa portrayed by Sylvester Stallone, here a photo with the statue of the boxing champ in the background is of course mandatory.
On the entrance stairs of the museum Rocky did his fitness program in the movie of the same name. So an absolute must have to have been there. In the museum itself you can admire art and art history of the USA. There are also some traveling exhibitions, such as knight’s armor and paintings from Europe. Behind the museum building, you have a great view of the Shykyll River and the boathouses located there.