On Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th streets sits an amazing United States national landmark that is pictured on the back of the US $100 bill, Independence Hall. Independence Hall is famous for being the place that both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and adopted. It was also the main meeting place for the Second Continental Congress and the site of the Constitution Convention of 1787. The hall is part of Independence National Historical Park and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1979, as it is a bastion of the history and culture of the United States. Independence Hall was also the original home of the Liberty Bell and currently holds in its bell tower a Centennial Bell created for the United States Centennial Exposition in 1876.
Tickets are needed to visit Independence Hall but free tickets are available on a first come, first served basis right outside. Advanced tickets can also be ordered online and via phone. Beginning on July 12th the Tower of Independence Hall will be undergoing a 14 month rehabilitation project to help preserve the hall for generations to come. Across from Independence Hall is the Liberty Bell Center, the current home and where you can visit the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell Center is open year round and offers visitors a video presentation as well as exhibits about the Liberty Bell. With exhibits covering everything from the bell’s origins to its modern role as an international icon of freedom, the Liberty Bell Center is an amazing place to visit to learn some of the history of this great country. Of course the Liberty Bell itself is on display in a magnificent glass chamber with Independent Hall in its backdrop. No tickets are needed to visit Liberty Bell Center; all you need to do is pass through the security screening process and enjoy all the history.
Independence National Historic Park is also home to Congress Hall which once served as the Philadelphia County Court House and was home to many historic events. The building has been restored to be as close to the way it was during the period of time when the building was the U.S. Capitol. Other great historic buildings you can visit in the park are Old City Hall, Carpenters’ Court & Franklin Court. The area was also where the famous run up the steps in the movie “Rocky” was filmed and there is even a bronze statue of the character at the top of those steps. For the most part, the buildings in Independence National Historic Park are open to the public from 9am to 5pm with hours varying throughout the year. So when you are visiting Philadelphia make sure to learn about the history and culture of the United States with a visit to the wonderful Independence National Historic Park.