The sixth largest, and one of the oldest cities, in the US, Philadelphia is an important place for anyone interested in the history of the United States. I visited in October 2007 as a day trip by train from New York, only 1.5 hours away.

One of the United States 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites, Independence National Historical Park is home to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The hall is where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. It is easy to imagine the room in use during this period, such an historic place in the history of the country.

The Liberty Bell was originally on the hall’s steeple, but is now found in a seperate building across the street. The notably cracked bell was rung to signal that independence had been declared.

Close by the Independence Seaport Museum is home to two historic ships. The USS Olympia is the only surviving ship from the Spanish-American War fought in 1898. The Becuna is a WW2 and Cold War era submarine, a typically fascinating if claustrophobic place to explore.

Surrounded by modern skyscrapers are some grand old buildings including Philadelphia City Hall, the largest free standing masonry building in the world, finished in 1901, the impressive Masonic Temple, built 30 years earlier, and the much older First Bank of the United States dating from 1797.

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is conveniently more commonly called Penn Museum, and is home to an impressive collection of antiquities.

To finish with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is one of the largest art museums in the world, though is arguably better known for it’s steps, which were famously featured in Rocky.

To finish with a few more photos from wanders around the city before catching the train back to New York.

Author: jontycrane

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