One of the oldest cities in America, Boston was founded in 1630 and was the largest city in the Thirteen Colonies until Philadelphia overtook it in the mid-18th century. It is one of the most European of large American cities, with high density, a good parks systems, and a wealth of history. I visited it briefly with family when I was a teenager in the late 1990s, but these photos and memories are from a visit over the Fourth of July long weekend in 2012.

Staying downtown it was pretty dead over the weekend, surrounded by architecture from heritage to modern.

One of the most impressive heritage buildings is the Massachusetts State House, completed in 1798, denoted as a National Historic Landmark.

There was a pleasing amount of greenery downtown, including Post Office Square, and Boston Common, the oldest city park in USA, dating from 1634.

One of the more eye-catching areas architecturally is the Christian Science Plaza.

The original church at the front built in 1894 was dwarfed by the 1906 domed Mother Church Extension behind it, which is home to one of the world’s largest pipe organs. The Colonnade Building alongside the reflective pool dates from 1972.

One of my favourite places in Boston was the JFK Presidential Library and Museum on the shores of the Charles River, which was finally opened in 1979 after years of challenges. The I.M. Pei designed building is a fitting memorial to this most iconic of American Presidents.

The Museum of Fine Arts is magnificent if exhausting, home to over 450,000 works of art, with a collection of paintings second only size in the US to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It was founded in 1870 and has been at its current location since 1909, with a significant expansion programme undertaken in the 2000s.

Part of the museum is the attractive Tenshin-En Japanese Garden, opened in 1988.

I finished my time in Boston with a wander around the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, one of the best universities in the world, founded in 1861.

Author: jontycrane

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