I’ve been to Philadelphia a couple of times but always by myself, so I was keen to visit there with Mark. We found that we only had time for a day trip but I figured we could fit it all in.
We took the train from New York and began our visit in Rittenhouse Square, where I forgot to take a photograph, but we both enjoyed the ambiance. Then on to City Hall, which is the most beautiful building
Beautiful from the front and the back
Philadelphia is full of amazing buildings and we happened upon one with a magnificent pipe organ and you would be excused for thinking we were in a church.
But this organ is in Macy’s! It has the most perfect backstory: the first time the organ was played coincided with the exact time of George V’s coronation in Westminster Abbey – how cool is that? I would kill to hear this organ played…
In the interests of brevity I’ve left out my gazillion photographs of amazing buildings, including the one that housed the Public Ledger which was the first penny newspaper.
No visit to Philadelphia is complete without seeing the Liberty Bell and the famous crack, which is now housed in a whole museum complex in the Independence National Historic Park. I am always impressed that all these attractions are free to visit.
In the same area as the Liberty Bell is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the Revolutionary War. I found this rather moving, and especially liked the quote.
The tomb is located in Washington Square which has a huge number of graves of unknown soldiers in it. Apparently many of them died as prisoners of war in Philadelphia gaols. Seems so terrible that men were incarcerated as prisoners of war in their own country.
Scattered throughout the city are these signs and this one appealed to me a lot.
We called in at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, and it really is a stunning building. Once again I was blown away by the pipe organ.
The outside is pretty stunning too.
We did think that this Church wasn’t quite as awe inspiring as the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, although you have to pay to go into that Church, whereas this one is free.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is, sadly, more famous for its steps as these are the steps that feature in the Rocky movie, and all the signposts point to the “Rocky Steps”. I had to run up them of course and have to say that it wasn’t that hard. I can only conclude that Rocky was a wimp. I read somewhere that running up these stairs is a rite of passage. Righto, that’s ticked off then!
They are quite high. Mark took these photos of me from the bottom so you get the idea.
The “Go Eagles” sign refers to Sunday’s Superbowl, with the Philadelphia Eagles being one of the teams playing. Of course, we Western Australians have our own Eagles team, strongly supported by all the men in my family.
The inside of the Museum is definitely worth a visit and I thought that the statue of Eros was particularly appropriate as Valentine’s Day looms.
The view from the top of the steps back over the town is pretty sensational.
One of the nicest surprises was the Rodin Museum. Here is The Thinker just hanging around outside, almost on the pavement.
The museum contains the largest collection of Rodin outside of Paris. I loved this little Beaux-Arts temple style building; so understated and elegant.
Although there is nothing understated about this magnificent door!
We pretty much did all the must-see things in Philadelphia in a day, but we had to keep moving. We did nearly 26kms of walking over the course of the day, so we were mildly weary as we made our way back through the throngs in Penn Stations, but we were so happy, having seen everything we wanted to and more.