PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART
Like Philadelphia’s own Parthenon, the Philadelphia Museum of Art sits majestically on a rise at the end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The vast collections of this temple of art make it the third-largest art museum in the country, and an absolute must-see on the city’s cultural circuit.
THE LIBERTY BELL CENTER
The Liberty Bell has a new home, and it is as powerful and dramatic as the Bell itself. Throughout the expansive, light-filled Center, larger-than-life historic documents and graphic images explore the facts and the myths surrounding the Bell.
NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER
The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center explores and explains this amazing document through high-tech exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. The Kimmel Theater, a 350-seat star-shaped theater, features “Freedom Rising,” a multimedia production combining film, a live actor and video projection on a 360° screen to tell the stirring story of “We the people.”
They risked everything — “their lives, their fortune and their sacred honor.” During the blistering summer of 1776, 56 courageous men gathered at the Pennsylvania State House and defied the King of England. Eleven years later, representatives from 12 states gathered to shape the U.S. Constitution, finally creating one unified nation.
THE BARNES FOUNDATION
The new 93,000-square-foot, two-story building, designed by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, is described as a “gallery in a garden, a garden in a gallery.” Boasting a textured grey-and-gold Ramon limestone exterior and a glass canopy that glows at night, the building is a breathtaking addition to the Parkway Museum District.
THE ROCKY STATUE
One of Philadelphia’s most famous pieces of public art is a bigger-than-life boxer… literally. Originally created for Rocky III, the sculpture is now a real-life monument to a celluloid hero. The fictional Rocky Balboa of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky movies was immortalized in bronze in 1980. After filming for the movie completed, Stallone donated the statue to the City of Philadelphia.
BETSY ROSS HOUSE
The raging war for Independence created many widows. Betsy Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypool ultimately lost three husbands, but unlike many widows who were left without resources, her skills as a seamstress enabled her to support herself and her seven children. She operated her business well past the age of 70 and finally died at the age of 84.
PENN TREATY PARK
According to legend, Pennsylvania founder William Penn signed his treaty of peace with the local Lenape tribe under an elm tree just off the Delaware River in 1683. Though the tree fell in a storm in 1810, the city officially opened Penn Treaty Park on the surrounding land in 1894.