Map all locations History in Philadelphia
History in Philadelphia
The paths to understanding American history all converge in Philadelphia and its historic countryside. Even before William Penn founded the city and built his estate in Bucks County, Native Americans and Swedish colonists recognized the region as an attractive place for trade and settlement.
Known as the birthplace of American democracy, Historic Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park (INHP) is located on the site of many of the seminal events that carried the nation through its founding as a global leader of democratic ideals. But this site hasn’t remained static in the nearly two-and-a-half centuries since the Declaration of Independence was adopted there on July 4, 1776. Instead, it has grown and progressed with the times, emerging in the early 21st century as a National Historical Park, providing a living model of history for the generations who come to experience it.
Don’t miss these hotspots
- Coming Attraction: The Barnes Foundation Presents William Glackens, The First Major Survey On The Philadelphia-Born Painter In More Than 40 Years, Opening Saturday, November 8
- The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre Presents An Innovative Take On Henry V, The Ultimate Underdog War Story, Through November 16
- Weekend Picks: Halloween Celebrations In East Passyunk, Manayunk, Rittenhouse And Old City, Head Of The Schuylkill Regatta, POST, Terror Behind The Walls, Oktoberfest At Dilworth Park And More
- Now Open: Nordstrom Rack Is Open For Business On Chestnut Street Today, Friday, October 24
- Wursthaus Schmitz At Reading Terminal Market Celebrates National Bologna Day Today, Friday, October 24
- A Guide To Day Of The Dead Celebrations In Philadelphia: Festivals And Special Events At Museums, Restaurants, Bars And Beyond
- Now Open: Century 21 Department Store Debuts Designer Deals In Its Brand-New Philadelphia Store On Market Street
- Tonight Picks: Philadelphia Film Festival Block Party, Ghost Tours And Halloween Happenings, Mega-Bad Movie Night, 215 Festival And More
- Family-Friendly Actvities And Amazing Carving Displays At Moravian Tile Works Pumpkinfest In Doylestown, Saturday, October 25
- Franklin Square Plays Host To An Afternoon Of Free Trick-Or-Treating This Saturday, October 25
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Dramatic new home of the internationally known symbol of freedom
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.
Birthplace of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
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.
Where the spirit of the Revolution received its sternest test
With more than 3,600 acres of rolling hills and well-worn trails, Valley Forge is now a magnet for runners, bicyclists and picnickers as well as history buffs.
The birthplace of the American flag
Did she or didn’t she? Ask Betsy Ross about her role in making the first American flag yourself when you visit the iconic home of America’s most famous flag maker.
The world’s only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution
The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center explores and explains this amazing document through high-tech exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. In the star-shaped Kimmel Theater, powerful music, a live actor and 360 degrees multi-media images tell the story of We the People.
An interactive museum exploring Philadelphia’s maritime heritage
With historic vessels to board, an underwater ROV to maneuver and a mock cannon to fire, Philadelphia’s maritime museum conveys what the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers have meant to the city over the years.
The nation’s oldest continuously inhabited street
Butchers. Bakers. Candlestick-makers. Named for blacksmith and property-owner Jeremiah Elfreth, Elfreth’s Alley was home to the 18th century artisans and trades-people who were the backbone of colonial Philadelphia.
Radical 19th century prison designed to create social change
Eastern State Penitentiary set the standard for penal reform, with its soaring, castle-like Gothic architecture and its founders’ Quaker-inspired belief that solitary confinement could reform criminals.
A special day to discover America’s history along Germantown Avenue
Saturday, October 4View More
You are never far from history when in Germantown, one of Philadelphia’s most historic neighborhoods. That’s never more true than during the Revolutionary Germantown Festival, a day-long festival that celebrates the rich history of Germantown and features the annual reenactment of the Battle of Germantown, the only military battle ever fought within the borders of Philadelphia.
Celebrate with special events and free admission to the Constitution Center
Constitution Day, held at the Constitution Center in Old City, features special events, educational activities, timely constitutional conversations with federal judges and an inspiring naturalization ceremony.View More
A day of discounts, giveaways, entertainment and free admission to museums
College students return to Philly in grand fashion during Campus Philly CollegeFest on Saturday, September 27.View More
A grand mansion with a fascinating — and bloody — history
Now a six-acre oasis in the middle of a bustling Philadelphia neighborhood, Cliveden was an estate in the suburb of Germantown built just before the Revolutionary War by the Chew family. One of the most lavish mansions of its era, Cliveden is stocked with furniture and artifacts designed to evoke Colonial times.View More
The birthplace of the American flag
Did she or didn’t she? Ask Betsy Ross about her role in making the first American flag yourself when you visit the iconic home of America’s most famous flag maker.View More
A vital stop on the Underground Railroad
It’s easy to imagine 19th-century freedom fighters Harriet Tubman and William Still meeting at this Quaker home in Germantown, owned by four generations of the abolitionist Johnson family.View More
The Quaker way of life preserved for 300 years
Duck into the partially hidden garden along busy Germantown Avenue for a 2.5-acre oasis of color and scent at the historic Wyck House and gardens. You’ll be whisked back to the Colonial and Victorian eras as you walk through the rose garden, vegetable garden, lawns and other plantings, many of which are direct descendents of the original 19th-century plantings.View More
Wigs are welcome at this day-long reenactment of the French Revolution
Grab a pitchfork and storm the walls! Whether you’re a revolutionary or a royalist, there’s something for you in this celebration of all things French at Bastille Day at the Eastern State Penitentiary.View More
The site of the first paper mill in British North America
The birthplace of paper in North America, Historic RittenhouseTown is now a preserved village on idyllic Lincoln Drive in beautiful Fairmount Park.View More
An annual all-day festival celebrating the end of slavery
Celebrate the end of slavery with free exhibitions, performances, vendors, discussions, family-friendly events and activities in Germantown.View More