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The Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is located in the rotunda of Pennsylvania's most-visited museum, The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The centerpiece of the memorial is a dramatic 20-foot high marble statue of Benjamin Franklin. Sculpted by James Earle Fraser, the statue weighs 30 tons and sits on a 92-ton pedestal of white Seravezza marble. Also noteworthy is The Franklin Institute's Frankliniana Collection, some of which is on rotating display in the Pendulum Staircase. Highlights might include his 1777 Nini Medallion; the maquette of Franklin's bust from the statue of Franklin in the Memorial; the figurehead of Franklin's bust from the USS Franklin; Franklin's Ceremonial Sword used in the Court of King Louis XVI and even the odometer that Ben used to measure the postal routes in Philadelphia. (more information)
Betsy Ross House. The well-known and loved story of Betsy Ross sewing the first Stars & Stripes is tightly woven into the colorful fabric of America's rich history. The Betsy Ross House, the birthplace of the American flag, is alive with the sights and sounds of the 18th century. Tour the house and then stay a while longer to learn more about Betsy and her exciting life and times through our interactive, historical programming. (more information)
Independence Hall is known as the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, Independence Hall is one of the most recognizable historical landmarks not only in Philadelphia, but in the entire nation. The hall is the highlight of the 45-acre Independence National Historical Park, home to 20 buildings of historical significance (many of which are open to the public). The Liberty Bell is located right around the way, though its original home was Independence Hall's bell tower. Tours of the hall are given every 15 minutes. See website for complete park details and further Independence Hall visitor info. (more information)
The Declaration House, located on the southwest corner of 7th and Market Streets, was reconstructed in 1975. The exhibit is open year round, though hours vary by season.The house was originally built in 1775 by Philadelphia bricklayer Jacob Graff, Jr. During the summer of 1776 Thomas Jefferson, a 33-year-old delegate from Virginia to the Continental Congress, rented the two second-floor rooms and there drafted the Declaration of Independence. (more information)
Edgar Allan Poe House. See where the "master of the macabre" penned his American masterpieces. During the six years (1838-1844) that he lived in Philadelphia, Poe wrote and published some of his most groundbreaking tales including: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Fall of the House of Usher," and "The Tell-Tale Heart." The three-building site creates a sense of literary curiosity. What type of surroundings could have inspired a man to put to paper his morose visions of death and betrayal? Admission is free to the public. (more information)
The Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell Center is located on Market Street between 5th and 6th Streets. The building is open year round, though hours vary by season. The Liberty Bell Center offers a video presentation and exhibits about the Liberty Bell, focusing on its origins and its modern day role as an international icon of freedom. Taped presentations about the history of the Liberty Bell are offered in a dozen languages for the convenience of foreign visitors. The Liberty Bell itself is displayed in a magnificent glass chamber with Independence Hall in the background. Tickets are not required to visit the Liberty Bell at any time. (more information)
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The only monument dedicated to honor the memories of unknown Revolutionary War soldiers was originally used as a Potter's Field, where the poor and indigent were buried. Although Philadelphia is not known as a battleground, this section of Washington Square became the final resting place of thousands of soldiers as the barracks near the Square received the sick, wounded and dying of the war. By 1825 the site was no longer used as a cemetery and in 1954 a memorial honoring George Washington and an Unknown Soldier was erected.
Philadelphia Museum of Art features over 200 galleries filled with treasures spanning continents and cultures, drawn from a collection of more than 400,000 works of art. The huge stone edifice of the museum, supported by majestic Doric columns, looks over the Schuylkill River. Scale the steps made famous in the 'Rocky' movies. Dine at the Museum Restaurant or walk in Fairmount Park , just behind the museum. (more information)