Those driving can enter on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge into historic downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This city was the first capital of the United States. So much history of the new nation took place within this metropolis. Then, history continued and the city has remained a vital center of the nation’s history, culture, and commerce. The Visitor’s Center is an excellent first stop with information, historic movies and much more. Friendly staff can help you with direction and tips about special tours and current events. The famous Liberty Bell is located in a building beside the Visitor’s Center, and Independence hall is just a block away. With so much to see and do, several days could not give time to visit all the sites. I only got to some of them during my last tour of Philadelphia.
The Liberty Bell
The 2,000 ton bell State House Bell was brittle and cracked not long after its arrival in the city in 1752. It was recast twice. The city retired the bell after the crack lengthened in the mid-1800s. Today, it sits in an honored place, displayed in a glass enclosure, a national symbol of Liberty. The building has a museum and people can walk close to the bell.
I loved going into Independence Hall and hope to visit again. The most significant room inside, to me, was the room where the Declaration of Independence was signed. I was moved with emotion as I stood in that room where the leaders of the colonies gathered and drew up the important document that would cut them off from Mother England. In front of the building, standing tall is an impressive statue of George Washington.
Benjamin Franklin’s Gravesite
The next day of my tour of Philadelphia, I walked close to the grave of Benjamin Franklin and it was raining, a cold rain. The place was locked. I was disappointed that I could not walk among the graves of the cemetery and read the inscriptions on the tombstones. This graveyard holds much history. Still, I was glad to pass by Benjamin Franklin’s resting place of white marble.
Reading Terminal Market
After walking the streets, stopping along the way to get out of the cold shower that continued most of the day, I and my family came to the Reading Terminal Market. At first, I hurried to get a hot drink and warm up, but I soon was fascinated by the vibrant bazaar. This historic market has many shops of goods and specialty foods, a book store, restaurants and an open eating area. The market is like an international tour with many of the cuisines from around the world well represented. I enjoyed tasting what I could. The Amish have several shops selling their delicacies like pickles, cheeses, and baked goods. The entire place has a friendly, happy atmosphere.
Even in the rain on a day when I wanted to take a walking tour, historic Philadelphia is an exciting place. The grand historic buildings are right beside contemporary buildings that rise taller, yet, the beauty is not diminished. The cooperation of the old and the new, the past and the present, is evident, working together well in historic, downtown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.