Historic Spots to See in Philadelphia

by Akhil Kalepu

Jul 24, 2016

Independence Hall, Philadelphia © Olivier Le Queinec | Dreamstime

Trends / History

This year’s Democratic National Convention will take place in Philadelphia, the original capital of the United States. While most people can’t get into the convention, they can still enjoy the many historic attractions the city has to offer.

 

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  Betsy Ross House The building is more than 250 years old, though, unfortunately, we’re not sure if she lived there or the place next door. Historians even question her role in making the first American flag, but don’t bring that up with the historical re-enactor.  

 

Mütter Museum

This medical museum is part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, which was founded in 1863. It has since put together an impressive collection of oddities and artifacts, ranging from antique surgery equipment to pieces of Einstein’s brain.

 

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  Independence Hall The place where the Declaration of Independence was signed is free to enter, but you’ll need to reserve a ticket from March to December. The official Declaration is now housed in the National Archives of D.C., but you can still historical artifacts like the original draft of the Constitution.  

 

Eastern State Penitentiary

Built with a panopticon design, Eastern State was meant to revolutionize the way criminals were imprisoned. The cells lining the outer walls made to isolate prisoners and force them to reflect on themselves. Its most famous prisoner was Al Capone, who spent nine months there in 1929.

 

  National Constitution Center This isn’t a historic site; the National Constitution Center is a non-profit institution dedicated to constitutional dialogue and civic education. Past recipients of its Liberty Medal include Bono, Nelson Mandela and Tony Blair.  

 

Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is one of the most iconic pieces of history, symbolizing the American independence movement, though it did not actually ring in the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

 

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