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Tour of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous city in the United States. The 2017 census estimated a population of 1,580,863. The city was founded in 1682 by William Penn to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Penn belonged to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and the name "Philadelphia" is derived from the Greek for "brotherly love".

Philadelphia served as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States during the American Revolution. Philadelphia was the site where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 and where the delegates from the Thirteen Colonies met for the Second Continental Congress.

Philadelphia City Hall
Philadelphia City Hall viewed from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia City Hall is located at the intersection of Broad and Market Streets. When it was completed in 1900, this was the tallest building in Philadelphia and the world's tallest masonry-bearing structure. A large bronze statue of city planner William Penn stands atop the structure. This picture taken from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art shows the Eakins Oval, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and Philadelphia City Hall. The bronze sculpture at Eakins Oval depicts George Washington mounted on a horse.

Independence Hall
Independence Hall

Independence Hall is the building where both the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were adopted. The building was completed in 1753 for the colonial legislature and it was called the Pennsylvania State House. The original steeple rotted and was demolished in 1781. A new steeple was added in 1828. The Liberty Bell is displayed in a building across from this building.

Entrance to the Liberty Bell exhibit
Entrance to the Liberty Bell exhibit

The entrance to the Liberty Bell exhibit is free, but visitors have to go through a security check similar to that used at airports. In addition to passing through metal detectors, visitors are asked not to chew gum or eat anything while in the building.

The Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell

No. The Liberty Bell does not have legs. The display at the Liberty Bell Center is packed with tourists, and it is virtually impossible to get a picture of the bell without people. The bell was once placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House. Its purpose was to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens about public meetings and proclamations, but the bell cracked when rung shortly after its arrival in Philadelphia. Efforts to repair it failed, but the bell became a symbol of American independence.

Numismatic features
Philadelphia's landmarks and important symbols, like the Liberty Bell, have appeared in many U.S. coins. During the bicentennial of independence in 1976, several coins featured Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

1976 Kennedy Half Dollar
Reverse of 1976 Kennedy Half Dollar showing Independence Hall

The Liberty Bell appeared on the back of Benjamin Franklin half dollars from 1948 to 1963, and it also appeared on the back of the commemorative Eisenhower one dollar coins of 1976.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, completed in 1928, has 72 stone steps at its entrance. The steps have become known as the "Rocky Steps" as a result of the scene from the film Rocky. Tourists often run up the steps as Sylvester Stallone did in Rocky's famous climb.

Tourists by the Rocky Balboa statue
Tourists pose for photographs by the Rocky Balboa statue

A bronze Rocky statue was briefly situated at the top of the steps for the filming of Rocky III. The statue is now located at the bottom of the steps, and it is a popular photo opportunity for visitors. The film Rocky depicts an underdog overcoming obstacles to achieve victory. The film has an energetic and likeable musical score.

Statue of Rocky Balboa
Statue of Rocky Balboa with a long queue of tourists

Get the Rocky DVD

Philadelphia Cuisine
Philadelphia has a great ethnic diversity and this is reflected in its food. One of Philadelphia's most famous creations is the cheesesteak sandwich that was developed by Italian immigrants. Many establishments serve cheesesteaks, including restaurants, taverns, delicatessens and pizza parlors. This picture is from Sonny's Famous Steaks at 228 Market Street. The ribeye steak is sliced thinly, and the sautéed peppers and onions have a nice crunch when you bite into the soft Italian bread sandwich.

Philadelphia Cheese Steak Sandwich
Philadelphia Cheese Steak Sandwich

Philadelphia has a large Indonesian community that brings the flavors of the spice islands to the U.S. The D'Jakarta Cafe at 1540 W Ritner Street offers fast-casual Indonesian and SouthEast Asian food.

Ayam Goreng - Indonesian Fried Chicken
Ayam Goreng - Indonesian Fried Chicken



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