Philadelphia is the fifth largest city in the United States, Pennsylvania, located on the east coast between New York (140 km) and Washington (200 km) . According to many, Philadelphia has every facet of city life - booming food outlets, music and art scenes, neighborhoods each with their own character, expansive parks and, just as important, relatively inexpensive real estate.


One of America's most compelling things is that this Pennsylvanian city, which has such an important place in US history, is the subject of jokes around the country. Above all, Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love that William Penn chose as a model for religious freedom and colonial enterprise, and where Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson championed the cause of independence. But it is also a quiet, sedate city, about which comedian William Claude Fields spoke unflatteringly, choosing the epitaph on his tombstone: "Better than playing Philadelphia", and where the master of horror story Edgar Allan Poe composed his famous poem "The Raven" ...


Although the modern city is diversified by the Jewish and Italian communities, it is based on Anglo-Saxon roots, which gives it a certain arrogance. As Mark Twain said: "In Boston they ask:" What does he know? ", In New York:" What is he worth? ", In Philadelphia:" Who were his parents? "


Philadelphia was founded in 1682 by a group of Quakers led by William Penn on the site of an old Swedish settlement in 1636. The name Philadelphia is Greek for "brotherly friendship", in line with the idealistic aspirations of the Quakers, who called themselves "friends" or "brothers." Two years after its foundation, there were more than 2.5 thousand inhabitants, mostly Quakers. The city became the final destination of the routes of many immigrants of various faiths from Europe. Philadelphia acquired the status of a city in 1701, by that time its population was over 10 thousand people.
Philadelphia was one of the first American cities to be built according to a single plan. By 1775, it was the largest city in the North American colonies, and many social organizations were established here, including the American Philosophical Society.


While remaining for some time the second largest city in the British Empire (after London) , Philadelphia became an opposition center in relation to British colonial politics. At the beginning of the War of Independence and after its end, until 1790, when Washington came to power, Philadelphia was the capital of the young state. By the 19th century, New York had bypassed Philadelphia and become a center for culture, trade, and industry. Despite the fact that the restoration of the city has been going on for decades, some of its parts, formerly inhabited by proletarians, have been destroyed and are incomparable with the historical district around the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall - there are carefully manicured lawns and numerous car parks.

Preserved historic buildings in the historic district of Philadelphia give you an idea of ​​what colonial American cities once looked like, built on a grid, with wide streets and public squares.


Philadelphia landmarks

Finding your way in Philadelphia is not difficult. Most attractions and hotels are easily accessible on foot or with a short bus ride. Streets running from east to west have names; streets, going from north to south are numbered, except for the street Broad Street (Broad St) and Front Street (the Front St) .

The Independence National Historic Site, in the heart of Philadelphia, encompasses all the significant buildings where the American government sat in the early years, and is called "the most historic piece of American land." In Independence Hall, in a huge redbrick Georgian-style building (5th and Chestnut Street), you can see the place where the Founding Fathers of America signed the Declaration of Independence, and later the Constitution of the United States. Nearby, in the Assembly Hall, state representatives signed the Bill of Rights, which required the state to protect, not infringe on, human freedom. At the Liberty Bell Center on Market Street, between 5th and 6th Streets, the famous Liberty Bell is displayed in a glass pavilion.

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