Explore the most fascinating historical sites in PA. See our comprehensive list of historic sites in Pennsylvania.
Carpenter's Hall is a Fascinating Piece of Philly History!
Carpenter's Hall, owned and operated by the oldest established trade union in U.S. history, has other ties to historical fame through having been the site of the First Continental Congress, The American Philosophical Society, The First (and Second) National Bank, and more. Its Georgian architecture and storied past have never failed to draw admirers and visitors over the years, and ought to be a part of any tourist's or history buff's visit to the City of Brotherly Love. It's open to the public year round (the exhibits are always fascinating) and is actually still available for rentals (if you're hosting a corporate or non-profit event).
One of the Most Famous Historical Sites in Philadelphia!
This building, located in the center of Philadelphia is a trove of history. Not only is it the place where the First Continental Congress was held, but it was also the home of the First and Second Banks of the United States, Franklin's Library Company and the American Philosophical Society.
Visitors can explore the hall's history, see paintings of famous personages who used the hall, marvel at the scale model of Carpenters' Hall being built, and see original furniture still in use in the hall. A tour of Philadelphia Historic Sites wouldn't be complete without seeing Carpenters' Hall. Admission is free.
Christ Church, established in 1695, has enjoyed 316 uninterrupted years of service and ministry, which continue to this day. Nicknamed "The Nation's Church," its pews were once filled with the individuals that founded our nation, and today its graveyard is the final resting place of many of them.Whether or not you worship at the church, it's worth a visit simply for its historical legacy: if you want to see the headstone of Ben Franklin for example, or where other signers of the Declaration came to pray on Sunday. The building itself has never lost the beauty and majesty with which it was built, and its physical proximity to the other historic sites of Philly emphasizes its close connection to that wonderful and turbulent time in the nation's history.
Two Interesting Historic Sites in Philadelphia!
This wonderful Georgian structure, built in 1727 has been the church home of many famous Philadelphians. Historic attendees of Christ Church include Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Betsy Ross, Benjamin Rush and many more. The interior of the church is a beautiful and ornate location which houses several historic items including a baptismal font from the 1300s which was donated by All Hallows Church in London.
Christ Church Burial Ground is also a great place for history buffs to visit. This historic Philadelphia site has over 1400 gravesites with burials dating back to the Colonial and Revolutionary era. While you're there be sure to find the graves of Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Hamilton, Commodore William Bainbridge and several signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Like Independence Hall, Congress Hall has been the site of some of the most important events in our nations history, including the ratification of The Bill Of Rights, the second inauguration of President George Washington, and others (not to mention its stint as the nation's capital). There's no reason to miss this one: it's right in the heart of historic Philadelphia, nearby other famous attractions (right next door in the case of Independence Hall), and a beautiful, stately building that serves as a wonderful example of American Georgian Architecture; clearly it's one of the best historic sites in Pennsylvania.
It's not hard to see the historical importance of Declaration House; if you have any real interest in the birth of the United States, then you need to visit the rooms where Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. The rooms upstairs that Jefferson rented have been renovated and filled with real period furniture (some of it from the actual time that he stayed) while the downstairs rooms have been converted into a museum where you can see various exhibits, and learn about the history of that famous house. Everyone is welcome, from history buffs, to casual visitors, and with its convenient location within Independence national Historic Park, you can't miss it.
Though no one city can claim Edgar Allen Poe's literary legacy for itself, Philadelphia will always have a tie to the public's enduring fascination with him through the Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site. Here, in the house he lived in while he composed some of his most famous works (and cemented himself on the literary scene as a critic) you can take a tour, take pictures, and generally enjoy the atmosphere of the home that housed one of the greatest writers in our nation's history. Tours are available, and the house itself is open to the public. No historical tour oh Philly is complete without at least a quick stop.
The First Bank of the United States is the birthplace of our modern American economy, and a marvel of neoclassical architecture. The physical building was fashioned after the temples of Greek antiquity, and towers over much of South Third Street. The establishment of the First Bank as an entity provided stability and order for our fledgling nation, lost in a sea of financial chaos. Even if you're not specifically touring historic sites in Philly, you can't just pass by the bank without appreciating, even for a moment, its beauty, its elegance, and its importance to U.S. History.
Recognized as "the most ambitious public building in the colonies" when construction began in 1732 (probably under the direction of Alexander Hamilton) what was considered then only the state house of Pennsylvania would one day become recognized everywhere as the birthplace of the United States of America. Home of the debates over our rebellion, the signing of the constitution, the Second Continental Congress, and more, every hero responsible for the foundation of America, at some point, walked these halls. There is no tour of historic Philadelphia complete without walking them yourself, and appreciating the majesty and gravity of our nation's birth.
Tour the Building Where America was Born!
See the meeting place of the Second Continental Congress, where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where the U.S. Constitution was drafted. This historic building is furnished with period pieces and has the original chair in which George Washington sat as he presided over the Constitutional Convention.
Timed tour tickets are required to visit Independence Hall, but are free of charge and can be reserved in advance. This historical site in Philadelphia is open year round.
A Place Filled with History!
Laurel Hill Cemetery, a beautiful 78 acre tract of land, is the final resting place of numerous famous Philadelphians as well as thousands of others. Visitors can take a tour of the cemetery and learn about the lives of those buried there, their histories and legacies. Whether you join a guided walking tour or take a self-guided audio tour, you are sure to learn a lot about this historical site in Philadelphia.
In addition to being a peaceful place to honor the dead, Laurel Hill is also a beautiful and relaxing place for a walk or picnic. Sculptures, artwork and a diverse collection of trees and other flora bring visitors from all around to relax in the shade or take a stroll along the river.
Old City Hall is the site of Philadelphia's Second City Hall. Originally, the building housed the Municipal Government of Philadelphia, with the Mayor upstairs, and Municipal court downstairs. In an added historic twist, the space was shared with the U.S. Supreme Court, which took it in turns to share the courthouse on the first floor. It remained City Hall until the latter half of the 19th century, and has been a part of other important national duties, like serving as the naturalization center for established immigrants taking their oaths.Today the Hall is primarily a testament to the earliest days of our nation, a storied and authentic building, well worth a trip for any visitor to Philly!
Visit one of the Wonders of the Masonic World!
Built in 1873, this impressive example of Romanesque architecture is a sight to behold. Each year thousands of visitors to Philadelphia walk through its halls to marvel at the rich interior and ornate rooms. Walk up the massive marble Grand Staircase, visit the Egyptian Hall decorated in the style of the Nile Valley, see the rich red room that is the Asylum of Knights Templar and much more that will impress and awe.
This temple is one of the most fascinating Philadelphia historic sites. Tours of the temple are available Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free for Masons, $8 for adults and $5 for children.
Philosophical Hall is the former home of the American Philosophical Society; while it remains the administrative headquarters of our nation's oldest and most established learned society, the actual "home" has moved to nearby and beautiful Ben Franklin Hall. The buildings' story with the APS is long and complicated, involving several renovations, and the problem of an ever-growing library, but the building itself is simply worth a visit. The hall still bears all the traces of the brilliant minds that have passed through it (a chair used by Jefferson, for example), the storied history of innovation and analytic thinking it sponsored, and a veritable treasure trove of famous paintings.
Since it was cast in 1752, the Liberty Bell has become a symbol of our nation's dedication to freedom, seen every year by millions of visitors from across the globe. The Liberty Bell Center houses the bell in a beautiful display, open to all the public all year round. The center is eager to educate its visitors on the exact history of the bell, and the mystery of its famous crack. Almost no physical object (except perhaps the Declaration or Constitution) captures so well the spirit of the United States, and it will continue to capture the attention and admiration of the public for years to come.