Philadelphia’s Old City is steeped in history. It is the area where William Penn and the Quakers first settled. I had no idea that the city was so important in relation to the foundation of the United States, and that so many of the key events leading up to Independence occurred here.
Independence Hall is where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. A free tour is run and you get to go inside the building and are told all about what happened there, and you get to see all the rooms where everything went down. The tour is very interesting and very worthwhile.
Independence Hall is just one of many buildings and monuments to be found in the UNESCO heritage listed Independence National History Park. So many of the buildings and monuments here are of extreme importance to the founding of the USA.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier honours the soldiers that died during the American Revolutionary War. It was built in 1954 and features an eternal flame and a statue of George Washington gazing towards Independence Hall.
The Liberty Bell Centre opened in 2003, and houses the Liberty Bell, as well as several interesting artefacts and information about the Bell and the site itself. There was controversy when, upon performing excavations to build the Center, it was discovered that some of the site was on land where George Washington housed his slaves. This part of the Center is marked on the pavement, and contains interpretive panels that explain the significance of what was found there.
The Liberty Bell was cast in the United Kingdom in Whitechapel, London in 1752 and originally hung from the Pennsylvania State House (which later became Independence Hall). It cracked when first rung upon its arrival in Philadelphia, and has since become a symbol of freedom and independence in the United States.