Interesting facts about Philadelphia

philadelphia

Philadelphia is the largest city in the US state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The city is located in southeastern Pennsylvania, where the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers meet.

As of January 2019, the population of Philadelphia is about 1.6 million people. It is is the sixth most populous city in the United States.

The city covers a total area of 370 square kilometers (143 square miles).

The lowest point is sea level, while the highest point is in Chestnut Hill, about 136 meters (446 feet) above sea level on Summit Street near the intersection of Germantown Avenue and Bethlehem Pike.

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William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony.

Before then, the area was inhabited by the Lenape (Delaware) Indians and Swedish settlers who arrived in the area in the early 1600s.

Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, and the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.

After the Revolution the city was chosen to be the temporary capital of the United States.

philadelphia history

At the beginning of the 19th century, the federal and state governments left Philadelphia, but the city remained the cultural and financial center of the country.

Today, modern office towers exist side-by-side with the narrow cobblestone streets of Independence Historic National Park, which is home to historic buildings and sights, including the Liberty Bell, Franklin Court, and Independence Hall.

Independence National Historical Park is a United States National Park in Philadelphia that preserves several sites associated with the American Revolution and the nation’s founding history. Administered by the National Park Service, the 22 hectare (55-acre) park comprises much of Philadelphia’s most-visited historic district. The park has been nicknamed “America’s most historic square mile” because of its abundance of historic landmarks, and the park sites are located within the Old City and Society Hill neighborhoods of Philadelphia.

independence national historical park

The centerpiece of the park is Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted in the late 18th century. Independence Hall was the principal meetinghouse of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783 and the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787.

independence hall

Across the street from Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American independence, is displayed in the Liberty Bell Center. The bell was commissioned in 1752 by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly from the London firm of Lester and Pack (known subsequently as the Whitechapel Bell Foundry), and was cast with the lettering “Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof”, a Biblical reference from the Book of Leviticus.

liberty bell

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is an art museum originally chartered in 1876 for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The main museum building was completed in 1928 on Fairmount, a hill located at the northwest end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval. The museum administers collections containing over 240,000 objects including major holdings of European, American and Asian origin. The long flight of steps to the Art Museum’s main entrance became famous after the film Rocky (1976).

philadelphia museum of art

This Fine Arts Museum features a collection of American Art from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, including works by early American artists right through to Andy Warhol. It is housed in a National Historic Landmark building designed by American architects Frank Furness and George W. Hewitt.

fine arts museum

Reading Terminal Market is an enclosed public market located at 12th and Arch Streets in Center City Philadelphia. It opened originally in 1893 under the elevated train shed of the Reading Railroad Company after the city of Philadelphia advocated to move public markets from the streets into indoor facilities for both safety and sanitary reasons.

reading terminal market

The Philadelphia Zoo, located in the Centennial District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the west bank of the Schuylkill River, was the first true zoo in the United States. Chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on March 21, 1859, its opening was delayed by the American Civil War until July 1, 1874. The zoo opened with 1,000 animals and an admission price of 25 cents.

philadelphia zoo

The traditional Philadelphia accent is considered by some linguists to be the most distinctive accent in North America. It shares many similarities with the New York accent.

Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania with the headquarters of five Fortune 1000 companies located within city limits.

The city is known for its hoagies, stromboli, scrapple, soft pretzels, water ice, Irish potato candy, Tastykakes, and the cheesesteak sandwich which was developed by Italian immigrants.

McGillin’s Olde Ale House, opened in 1860 on Drury Street in Center City, is the oldest continuously operated tavern in the city.

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