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Philadelphia

Culture of Philadelphia. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Cira Centre Philadelphia is a modern progressive city that stands out among the rest because of the unique atmosphere of aristocratic refinement and modesty. The city has a huge number of iconic sites and historical monuments, cultural centers and museums. The famous Independence Hall, where a number of important documents that changed the US history were signed, is a landmark of the international scale. Next to Independence Hall there is one of the most emblematic monuments of the city, Liberty Bell. In 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, the bell ringing alerted citizens of a significant event.
This city is a large metropolis, a financial, industrial and cultural center of the United States. Wide choice of attractions, numerous entertainments and friendly atmosphere make this city … Open
Walkers should definitely take a stroll along the famous Elfreth's Alley, as it is the oldest street in the city. A walk through the picturesque streets will be an unforgettable journey into the past; a lot of beautiful buildings of the early 18th century have remained there. Miniature houses seem to be just fabulous comparing with large-scale modern buildings. The beautiful alley became a permanent venue for interesting national festivals and cultural events.
The Betsy Ross House is the most remarkable among those buildings. According to one legend, in the middle of the 18th century, there lived a girl named Betsy. She has sewed the first American flag in the world, which has been remaining the undisputed symbol of the country for many years. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Philadelphia impresses with an abundance of various restaurants; there are more than two thousand different dining places in the city. A typical national diner is Talula s Garden; you just … Open
There are about twenty religious monuments of different eras in the city. Gloria Dei Church and Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church are considered to be the most scenic. To make the cultural program diverse devote some time to local museums. One of the most visited venues is the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The museum houses one of the world's largest collections of paintings by Van Gogh.
Swann Fountain a little later The Rodin Museum and the luxurious Arthur Ross Gallery would be interesting too. Fans of science would appreciate the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology that has collected hundreds of unique historical artifacts. Exhibits presented to the Museum were brought from different parts of the world. There are also interesting interactive exhibits in it.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Philadelphia and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Philadelphia and surroundings

Plan your own excursion through Philadelphia: churches, museums and castles

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

» The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the country. About 25 exhibitions are held there every year. It was founded in 1876.
»  Some exhibits are over 3,000 years old. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ceramics are displayed on the racks. There’s a collection of artifacts from Egypt and Rome. There’s a separate area with Persian and Turkish handmade carpets. A Chinese palace hall, a Japanese teahouse, and an Indian temple complex are recreated here. A collection of weapon is located in one of the spatial zones.
»  The Philadelphia Museum of Art has a patio where some of the statues are put.
»  The permanent collection has 300,000 cultural objects. The museum takes special pride in the paintings by Impressionists and Surrealists, especially Van Gogh’s paintings.
»  There are separate halls displaying sculptures and objects of the decorative and applied arts showing the everyday life of different nations.
»  On Fridays, live music discos are organized here. You can also listen to jazz performers.
»  The entrance to the building is made in the Greek style. The locals call it the “Greek Garage” due to its enormous size.

Franklin Institute, Philadelphia

» The Franklin Institute, a science museum with its own planetarium, is located in a 3-story exhibition building. It was founded to promote technical progress.
»  Benjamin Franklin’s works are the core of the collection. The Franklin Institute is the oldest science museum in the country. It is named after a famous politician. A 6-meter sculpture of Franklin rises in the center of a huge hall.
»  The museum was founded in 1824. It’s the first museum in the country focused on innovative technologies, 18-20th-century scientific inventions, and the latest technical innovations.
»  The Jurassic World exhibition displays the skeletons of extinct prehistoric creatures.
»  Interactive exhibitions give a close look at the work of the heart muscle. Each visitor can listen to the roar of aircraft turbines or get inside the globe.
»  There are exhibitions about the discovery of electricity. A separate area is dedicated to all possible weather phenomena and to why the weather changes.
»  Guides conduct experiments based on physical phenomena.
»  Driving a 4D simulator in the astronautics hall, you can feel what it’s like to be a space explorer.

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

» Three centuries ago, there was no system for keeping prisoners. Adults and teenagers were kept in the same area regardless of the degree of the crime.
»  In 1787, the authorities founded a “repentance house” – the Eastern State Penitentiary. It was called a penal colony.
»  In today’s money, the construction cost $16,000,000.
»  A plot in a cherry orchard near the city was allocated for the buildings. A city of Philadelphia began to grow near the state prison.
»  The prison buildings were located around a watchtower, so the guards were able to watch the prisoners’ movements from above by going around the tower platform.
»  Initially, 250 criminals were detained here.
»  The facade of the building has jagged walls and blind windows. The construction was supposed to inspire fear.
»  Unlike in townspeople’s houses, there was heating and water.
»  Walks for prisoners were organized in the courtyard. During this time, criminals had to wear masks in order to minimize any communication.
»  All people were engaged in some sort of work, for example, shoemaking. The rest of the time had to be dedicated to reading the Bible and reflecting on their wrongdoing.
»  The first prisoner arrived here in 1829. He was arrested for theft.

Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia

» The motto of the amusement museum for kids is “Please Touch”. The main goal of the museum is to teach preschool children to explore the world through interactive exhibitions. Everyone is allowed to touch exhibits in the Please Touch Museum.
»  Nine zones help the child learn behavioral norms accepted in society and form certain skills through games and visual images.
»  One of the exhibitions teaches social experience. It explains how to make purchases, what to do in the kitchen, how to take care of plants in the garden and treat a baby.
»  The “children's town” lets children feel what it’s like to be a doctor and a cook, a builder and an architect. The center aims to develop in children the ability to make decisions and take responsibility for their actions.
»  There’s a scientific zone. The simplest physical laws are vividly explained with the help of experiments.
»  The Playhouse will entertain little visitors. Here everyone can dress in the appropriate outfit and become a hero of a tale.
»  The museum has a copy of the torch held by the Statue of Liberty. But the light is made of unnecessary and discarded toys.

Cathedral of St Peter and Paul, Philadelphia

Location on the map:   Facts: » The true image of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul can be traced on a graphic drawing of 1859.
»  Two architects worked on the project (1846-1864). One worked on the external appearance, the other was engaged in the internal one.
»  The San Carlo al Corso Roman church inspired the exterior of the cathedral. The portico is decorated with massive columns. The niches on the sides have sculptural images.
»  The church was 47.5 meters high. There are two small turrets.
»  The religious Catholic building is considered the largest in Pennsylvania. It has eight chapels.
»  2,000 people can simultaneously pray in the cathedral.
»  The lower level of the cathedral hadn’t had windows for a century which was connected with anti-Catholic propaganda in the city. Some people complained about the Catholic building often breaking windows in the church. The basilica has stained glass windows placed high from the ground level.
»  The chronicle of the cathedral is connected with John Neumann’s (Bishop of Philadelphia) activities. He established parish schools. Parishioner Drexel (Katharine Drexel) is known for educational activities. Thanks to her efforts, a religious congregation called the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament was founded.
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Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Philadelphia and around
♥   Art museum 'Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts' Philadelphia, 0.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Barnes Foundation' Philadelphia, 1.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Rodin Museum' Philadelphia, 1.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Philadelphia Museum of Art' Philadelphia, 2.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology' Philadelphia, 2.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Philadelphia
♥   National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia, Philadelphia, 1.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Philadelphia, 2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Shrine of St. John Neumann, Philadelphia, 2.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Camden, 4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral, Camden, 6.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel, Bensalem, 22.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Cathedral of St. Peter, Wilmington, 40.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Rentals in Philadelphia

Photogallery of cultural heritage of Philadelphia

Landmarks of culture on Philadelphia map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Philadelphia

Culture guide to Philadelphia. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Philadelphia: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Philadelphia. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info!
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