Philadelphia is a delightful exercise in exploring the city’s many diverse districts, from the Old City where the Liberty Bell takes pride of place and the city centre filled with shopping malls and museums, to the Italian-flavoured South Philly.
On July 8, 1776, the Liberty Bell rang out from the tower of Independence Hall summoning citizens to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Today the Hall stands proudly, revered as the birthplace of the American nation, in Independence National Historical Park, an eight-block historic neighbourhood in the very centre of old Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell itself is on display here, in a pavilion in Market Street between 5th and 6th Street. Independence Hall on Chestnut Street was originally built as the Pennsylvania State House in 1732 but became famous after first the Declaration of Independence, and later the Constitution of the United States was ratified here. The rest of the 45-acre Independence Park is packed with historically significant buildings and museums, interpreting the events and lives of the movers and shakers involved in Philadelphia’s years as the capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800, including George Washington and John Adams.