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Top architectural sightseeing and landmarks of Philadelphia - ideas on city exploration routes

Street Station and Cira Centre This review is a great opportunity to look at architectural landmarks of Philadelphia from a new perspective – namely, from the sky. Click the video to enjoy a 3D flight over the architectural ensemble of Philadelphia and to look at the most interesting landmarks in detail - at Independence Hall, Franklin Institute, Please Touch Museum, Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, Citizens Bank Park and many others. Below you will find the most amusing historic facts and professional photographs of every famous sightseeing in Philadelphia.

Independence Hall, Philadelphia

» The public institution where important state documents were signed was once funded by the state government.
»  It had been constructed for 20 years. Independence Hall was opened in 1753.
»  A $100 bill features a picture of the building.
»  Independence Hall is a 2-story red-brick building. There is a bell tower with a wooden spire.
»  On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the Centennial Bell cast specially for the remarkable event was put up.
»  Two buildings were built on the main one – the city hall and Congress Hall.
»  There is a sculpture of George Washington before the entrance. Citizens themselves raised money for it.
»  The inkstand and the chair on which the first popularly elected US president sat are considered particularly valuable.
»  Nowadays, Independence Hall is owned by the city and is listed as a World Heritage Site.
»  There are daily guided tours around the historic Hall. A tour begins in the courtroom. The Assembly Hall found on the first floor has been preserved since the time of the Continental Congress.

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.

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.

Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia

» The 3-story building is used for exhibitions. The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology preserves cultural heritage objects.
»  Exhibits are diverse: embalmed bodies found in Egypt, sacred amulets of Indian tribes, Greek artifacts (ceramic dishes and coins), Asian and African musical instruments, clay tablets with hieroglyphs. The collections show the history of the human race formation.
»  The administration finances many archaeological and anthropological search teams. About 400 scientific exploration trips were organized.
»  There are both permanent and temporary exhibitions in the halls. Many of them are interactive. Thematic films and slides are demonstrated. It’s easier to understand and remember the material on world history thanks to guides’ explanations.
»  The museum possesses up to a million exhibits.
»  Up to 200,000 tourists visit the museum every year.
»  The museum is not just a cultural institution; it also does a lot of research work.
»  The Penn Museum is the first public building where electricity appeared.

Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

» Citizens Bank Park is a sports complex built in April 2003. It is considered the home arena for a local baseball team.
»  The construction took 4 years and cost $458 million.
»  The stadium can hold 43,651 visitors. The playing field has a natural lawn with grass.
»  The need for a new complex arose after a wall collapsed on one side of the stands during the game.
»  The stadium was constructed on the site of food warehouses.
»  Citizens Bank bought the 25-year owning rights for $95 million.
»  There is Ashburn Alley near the arena. It is named for a professional player.
»  A separate entertainment area has a play space for children. There is a climbing wall there.
»  The complex has several separate rooms: rooms and changing rooms for players, coaching rooms, technical rooms. There are 3-level stands around the field.
»  A huge screen gives you a detailed view of the events happening on the field.
»  When the Phillies (a local team) win, the bell rings. It is located above the central stands.

Fort Mifflin, Philadelphia

Location on the map:
Facts: » The star-shaped fort was erected to protect the city during the war of independence (1771). It is located on Mud Island. It remained active up until 1959.
»  The fort was captured by British forces during the bombardment. Before that, 400 fortress defenders were holding their positions against a two-thousand British army.
»  Only stone walls are left from the original buildings. The traces of the 1777 artillery attack can be seen on them.
»  During the American Civil War, prisoners were held there.
»  The defensive structure is named after Thomas Mifflin, a military officer and the first post-independence Governor of Pennsylvania.
»  Today, the building is partially restored, and guided tours are held around the area.
»  During excavations, a wine tag, a penny (1864), fragments of ceramics, a tin cup and pot, and buttons were found—all in excellent condition.
»  A part of Mifflin served as a barracks for 25 soldiers. It was 2-story and consisted of seven rooms. Near the main gate at the entrance to a casemate, soldiers arranged a room where they baked bread. It also protected them from bombs, and they had lunch and prayed here.

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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