Fort McHenry, Baltimore

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 Reviews

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  • Fort McHenry
    by Yaqui
  • Fort McHenry
    by Ewingjr98
  • Fort McHenry
    by Ewingjr98
  • JoeM130's Profile Photo

    Love Fort McHenry

    by JoeM130 Written Aug 27, 2014

    I love Fort McHenry! It's beautiful! From the park's grounds, you get a little taste and views of history, industry, urban landscape, and beautiful water views. The park grounds are free, and you can casually walk, jog, or bike around the paved water's edge, or you can pay to access the fort. Both are well worth it. It was here that Baltimore militias defeated British troops during the war of 1812, and more importantly, it was during that battle that Frances Scott Key observed, was inspired, and wrote our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. Combine that with the beauty of the area and it makes for a very fun and impressive visit! And since it's a national park/monument, the prices are extremely reasonable, and there is on ground parking, and this area is pretty safe to visit.

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    Fort McHenry

    by rmjiv Written May 2, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fort McHenry was one of the principal forts guarding the harbor of Baltimore. And most famously, events there during the War of 1812 inspired Francis Scott Key to write the lyrics to "The Star Spangled Banner" which became the national anthem of the United States.

    You can take a tour of the fort which has great views of the harbor. Walk along the embankments that once protected the fort and look at the cannons (or stick your head in one!). The fort still flies an oversized American flag that you can help raise and lower. I was lucky to be there on Flag Day (June 14th) when they had some special events.

    Flag over Fort McHenry Magazine at Fort McHenry Lowering the flag ceremony
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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Fort McHenry Harbor Views

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 11, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not only being one of our most cherished historical places. It has a beautiful view from the fort. Make sure you explore all the buildings, displays and roam the grounds. Hopefully you come here on a clear day.

    This is one of the most significant events in our history that gave birth to our most beloved National Anthem of the United States of America. A song created by Francis Scott Key that was witness to the battle of Baltimore and how our cherished and beloved flag endure the bombardment by the British on Fort McHenry.

    The flag that is on display now is a replica of the one that is now in the Smithsonian in DC. It is measured 42 by 30 feet and was made by Mary Pickersgill. The fort has a wonderful display of exhibits and the visitor center presents a movie of the events that lead up to the battle and thereof.

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Fort McHenry Displays

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 11, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This fort also served as a prison during the Civil War and a welcoming point for thousands of European Immigrants.

    This place witness one of the most significant events in our history that gave birth to our most beloved National Anthem of the United States of America. A song created by Francis Scott Key that was witness to the battle of Baltimore and how our cherished and beloved flag endure the bombardment by the British on Fort McHenry.

    The flag that is on display now is a replica of the one that is now in the Smithsonian in DC. It is measured 42 by 30 feet and was made by Mary Pickersgill. The fort has a wonderful display of exhibits and the visitor center presents a movie of the events that lead up to the battle and thereof.

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    • Family Travel

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Fort McHenry and The Star-Spangled Banner

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 11, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is one of the most significant events in our history that gave birth to our most beloved National Anthem of the United States of America. A song created by Francis Scott Key that was witness to the battle of Baltimore and how our cherished and beloved flag endure the bombardment by the British on Fort McHenry.

    The flag that is on display now is a replica of the one that is now in the Smithsonian in DC. It is measured 42 by 30 feet and was made by Mary Pickersgill. The fort has a wonderful display of exhibits and the visitor center presents a movie of the events that lead up to the battle and thereof.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

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  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Fort McHenry

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Oct 26, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fort McHenry is located just a few miles outside of downtown Baltimore and is famous as the location of the battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner. This battle took place in 1814 towards the end of the War of 1812 and Key was aboard a "truce ship" in the harbor that was sent to negotiate prisoner releases. During the battle the British navy was repulsed after more than a day of bombardment and four Americans were killed defending the city.

    The fort was designed and constructed in 1798, and it was named after President Washington's Secretary of War, James McHenry. The star-shaped fortification sits at the tip of Locust Point, and it was Baltimore's primary defensive site until it was replaced by Fort Carroll. The fort was later used as a prison during the Civil War, as a hospital during WWI, and as a Coast Guard Base in WWII.

    Entrance is $7 per person for a day visit, or free with your $80 National Parks Pass.

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  • littlesam1's Profile Photo

    Orpheus at Fort McHenry

    by littlesam1 Written Oct 13, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you have read any of my other VT pages you will know that I love statues. When I travel I can't pass a statue without taking a picture. I love to read their history afterwards and research information about them on the internet, all as a part of my visit to the city or country where they are located. There are many monuments and statues in Baltimore. This very large statue called Orpheus is located at Fort McHenry. The base is 13 feet tall and the sculpture itself is 24 feet tall. It was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner at Fort McHenry. The statue reminded me somewhat of Michaelangelo's David. When I did some research on the sculpture I found that the artist had indeed studied in Italy so this may explain the resemblence.

    Orpheus at Ft. McHenry

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    The Flag at Fort McHenry

    by littlesam1 Written Oct 13, 2008

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    Its quite impressive to see the massive flag flying at Fort McHenry. When you first enter the fort there is a visitors center run by the National Parks Service. After paying your admission to the Fort you can walk a 15 minute movie about the fort, its role in the War of 1812 and about the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. As the movie ends and the National Anthem is played a large curtain against the side wall is opened. This reveals a large wall sized window. As the curtain opens you start to see the huge flag waving just s few feet away in the Fort. Its a very moving moment.

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    Fort McHenry

    by littlesam1 Written Oct 13, 2008

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    When visiting Baltimore I would highly recommend a visit to Ft. McHenry. Ft. McHenry is now part of the National Parks Service. There is a $7.00 admission charge. You can tour the historic fort, walk throught the parks, and get a beautiful view of the harbor in Baltimore. There is a very interesting short film shown at the visitors center every half hour.

    When the Brittish military burned Washington DC in the War of 1812, their ships then set sail up the Cheseapeake Bay for an attack on Baltimore. At the time Baltimore was one of the largest cities in the United States. Major George Armistead and his forces defended the city from Fort McHenry and the Brittish fleet retreated saving the city and making a major turning point in the war. After the War of 1812 the fort was used during the American Civil War as a prisoner of war camp. During World War I it was used a hospital for injured soldiers returning home. Ft. McHenry greatest claim to fame is the fact that the Star Spangled Banner was written about the flag flying at the Fort the morning after the attack in the War of 1812.

    Although I have advised visitors in this tip that Ft. McHenry is a must see when visiting Baltimore, I have to admit that as a life long resident of the area I have only been here twice. And both visits have been since I was an adult. Sometimes we just don't appreciate the history and interests that are right in our own front yards. I now fully appreciate the Fort and its beautiful location.

    The View from Ft. McHenry Enterance to Ft. McHenry

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  • Kaspian's Profile Photo

    Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

    by Kaspian Updated Apr 22, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It's only about four minutes into this movie about Fort McHeny and the history of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and they've already introduced about 12 characters. I don't know what the hell they're talking about anymore. ...Something about a doctor. Anyway, the film finally ends showing an oversized American flag in the breeze while the national anthem plays. A curtain on the side of the theatre is automatically drawn to reveal a window through which the same giant flag is flapping in the fort's courtyard, mirroring the one on the movie screen. Nice effect. A bit cheesy, but...
    Fort McHenry is best known for it's role in the Battle of 1812 when it successfully defended Baltimore Harbour against a massive British naval attack that started on September 13, 1814. This was actually the first and only battle the fort was ever involved with throughout its history. The British launched bombs mercilessly at the fort from their ships for 25 hours straight. When the battle was finally over and the British withdrew their forces, a lawyer named Francis Scott Key, who had witnessed the barrage from a nearby ship, wrote a poem about what he'd seen called "The Defense of Fort McHenry". The poem was later renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and became the country's national anthem.
    The fort itself doesn't take too long see--lots of little rooms to peek your head in, you can walk the cannon ramparts, see the barracks and the gunpowder storage rooms. Umm... And there's also a real wedding going on here with some of the guests in period costume, but I won't get into that.
    Fort McHenry is definitely a good place to spend a peaceful few hours on a tour of Baltimore. ...And If you can actually follow the movie in the welcome centre, please let me know what it was about.

    Fort McHenry (2006) Fort McHenry (2006) Fort McHenry (2006) Fort McHenry (2006) Fort McHenry (2006)
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    Fort McHenry

    by Dabs Updated Oct 6, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The War of 1812 was declared by America against Britiain in response to their ships and cargo being confiscated by the British and French, who were involved in conflict from 1793-1815, but it was only after Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo in 1814 that things started to really heat up in America. The British defeated the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg, then set fire to Washington DC before setting their sights on Baltimore.

    Fort McHenry was the sight during the Battle of Baltimore (part of the War of 1812) where the Americans successfully fended off a British attack in 1814 and stopped them from taking Baltimore but it's best known as the place that inspired Francis Scott Key, a Washington lawyer, to write a poem, which became America's National Anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner", as he sat detained on a US truce ship, looking at the 30 x 42 foot flag that was flying over the Fort.

    Admission to the Fort was $5 and included a 15 minute movie on the history of the Fort. You can walk around the outside of the Fort at no charge, you'll see a sign posted past which you must pay admission. Inside the Fort you can see some of the barracks and places where arms and gunpowder were stored. And on the day we were there, a wedding!

    Star Spangled Banner Fort McHenry Fort McHenry

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    Star Spangled Ft. McHenry

    by AKtravelers Updated Aug 27, 2006

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    Most people, including most Americans, know nothing about the War of 1812 or Baltimore's role in it. The war, declared by the young unprepared United States against the world's greatest power, Britain, almost ended in disaster for the Americans. Once the British sent Napolean into exile, they turned their full attention to those nasty Americans who had enjoyed a free hand early in the war (burning Toronto, among other things) and attacked with full force. By September 1814, the US was reeling, Washington D.C. was in flames and the powerful British Navy owned the Chesepeake.
    Their next target was Baltimore, but taking the city would require getting the Navy's big guns past Ft. McHenry -- especially after the British Army lost at North Point on the other side of te harbor. For 25 hours, 50 gunships pummelled the fort with a relenless rain of rockets and bombs -- if you stand on the forts ramparts you can almost see the armada at the feet of the Key Bridge. Yet, on the dawn of 14 September, as the bombardment halted, the weary soldiers raised the fort's flag and the British knew they had lost. And the citizens in Baltimore knew that their city and lives were spared. This moment of triumph inspired Francis Scott Key to write the "Star Spangled Banner" as he watched from a truce ship. In the song, he captures the relief and pride he felt seeing the flag unfurl in the breeze.
    And he didn't even think about apologizing to Toronto.

    Preston on the ramparts of Ft. McHenry Carla, Will and kids with some defenders Cooper walks the ramparts without fear Looking into Ft. McHenry
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    Fort McHenry from the water

    by grandmaR Updated Jul 22, 2006

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    It was during the Battle of Baltimore, September 13-14, 1814 that Francis Scott Key wrote the words to "The Star Spangled Banner". [If you are on your own boat there is a red white and blue buoy out by the Key Bridge so that you can see where Francis Scott Key's boat was anchored.]

    You can get to Ft. McHenry by water taxi from the harbor (or by car if you insist). Most school children go to Ft. McHenry at least once on a school trip. It has been a very long time since I have been - I don't think I've been there since my children were in school. We have passed it on the water on our own boat (3 of the pictures below) and on a cruise ship.

    Grounds: Daily, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    Fort and Visitor Center: Daily, 8:00 A.M. to 4:45 P.M.

    Summer Hours (June 1 - September 2, 2002): Grounds: Daily, 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.
    Fort and Visitor Center: Daily: 8:00 A.M. to 7:45 P.M

    Entrance fee to the historic fort is $ 5.00 for adults 17 and over. Children 16 and under are admitted free of charge.

    Fort McHenry from a cruise ship Fort McHenry from a sailboat Fort McHenry from a cruise ship at dusk
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  • ellielou's Profile Photo

    O! Say Can You See

    by ellielou Written Jan 28, 2006

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    I don't go to Ft. McHenry nearly enough.

    I don't generally go for the National Park Service designation...about how the British stormed through DC, burnt the White House, and then had their butts kicked in Baltimore during the War of 1812 (a story I rather like, btw). I also don't come here for the fact that it is that battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the what is now the National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. (A terrible song, by all accounts.)

    Rather, I kick myself for not coming here as often as possible because it's a great place to be by the water, without the distraction of medicore chain restauants and tourist shops, and expensive waterfront condos. I like how it's generally quiet, besides the quacking of ducks and other waterfoul, the chirpping of seagulls, and the honks of tugboats.

    I always marvel at the views, the boats, and the marine industrial nature of it all. It's a perfect place to walk, picnic, and just relax.

    favorite cityscape: marine industrial they go together well view to Key Bridge view of sculpture in honor of FS Key
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  • Easty's Profile Photo

    Fort McHenry

    by Easty Written Apr 18, 2003

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    Like all the other major east coast cities, Baltimore had its role in American history. Fort Mc Henry is the most known feature in Baltimore's past. During the War of 1812, the national anthem was written here. Today, it is Baltimore's biggest historical tourist attraction. It can be accessed by boats from the Inner Harbor area.

    Me at Fort McHenry (Also my VT Picture)

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