USS Constitution - Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston
The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship in service and has a full crew. Always seen sailing in the harbour during the 4th July celebrations it is a classic warship and saw service during the 1812 War with the British.
The day in late May 2007 when we visited there were large crowds waiting to view the ship which prevented us from going aboard. We had a good view from the dock and took some good photos to remind us of the visit. There are several naval museums nearby which we enjoyed.
The ship was first put in use in 1797 at a cost of $302,718 (pretty precise-huh). It had a crew of 450-500 and the length is 204 feet with the beam another 45 feet overhanging. It was built as part of six to protect the US growing shipping interests. Piracy and French & English were all not good for that growth. So these ships were to protect the US sea activity. It was designed to be the fastest on the seas, but also carry comparable cannon defense. The fame in its era was in 1812 they defeated British ships, and the hull sides held up better because of the thickness of the wood was greater. It also was involved in the Med for detering pirates kidnapping sailors and captains for ransom (Familiar with current day events). They tried to scrap it in 1829 but public outrage stopped that. and was active to early 1900's.
It was restored first in 1927, and many times since. Today some of the deck is under reconstruction to arch the deck in the middle for water runoff.
The USS Constitution has been owned by the US Navy since 1797. On the fourth of July the ship sets sail and turns around. We went aboard Old Ironside & visited the museum filled with information & memorabilia.
We went to the USS Constitution one day around noon.... walked around the museum, which was fairly interesting
Then, we went out and got the tour of the ship. My husband, who did not want to go, had such a great time, and it really was amazing to hear about what life was like for the crew back them. And to see how small some of the walkways and ceiling were, and how they slept, what they ate, etc -- just a great dose of American History
It has been restored, but there is alot of the "original" there, and the tour guide gave a great tour...
The USS Constitution, nicknamed "the Old Ironsides" is three masted, wooden halled frigate. Built in 1797 it is the old commissioned ship afloat in the world. Today it is part of a historical museum and can be toured for free.
The USS Constitution has a glorious history having served in the Quasi War against France, the War against the Barbary States and the War of 1812. During these conflicts the USS Constitution saw much action and fought two famed battles against the British in the War of 1812 in which the ship was victorious. The ship was responsible for eight other captures during the war. During this period the USS Constitution carried 52 guns of different sizes and 450 sailors.
Eventually the ship was considered to be no longer sea worthy and was almost scrapped in 1830. However after much protest, the USS Constitution was restored in 1835. During this period, a sailing ship like the USS Constitution was somewhat antiquated and could not battle steamships. Instead it served a time patrolling the seas in search of illegal slave traders.
In the early years of the 20th century there was talk of scrapping her again but public sentiment saved her. The USS Constitution was again restored in 1925 and actually did a world tour. It was completely refitted in 1992 to 1995.
To visit the USS Constitution you have take a thirty minute tour. This was well conducted by a female navy sailor who was quite colourful. The tour takes you through the various decks (watch your head) and gives you some idea of living and battle conditions for those who served on board.
The Charlestown Navy Yard also is home to museum giving you greater insight into the battles of the USS Constitution. There is also a World War Two destroyer at dock here, the USS Cassin Young. I did not visit either of these attractions due to time restraint.
The Charlestown Navy Yard supported America's war efforts for two centuries. It saw action in the War of 1812 and fitted ships out during World War II (1941-46). It continue to provide naval support into the Korean and Vietnam eras.
For historic representations of the work done at the Navy Yard, see my Travelogue
Visit the oldest ship still in commission. One of the most popular stops on the Old Town Trolley Tour, and along the "red brick road" (Freedom Trail) is the Charleston Shipping Yard where the USS Constitution is docked. It's a great place to stretch your legs and take a look at this beautiful old 3 masted ship. Visits are free. There is a museum and gift shop close by. There's also an informal restaurant close by.
This is a great place to take photos of the Boston skyline across the Charles River. It's easy to see the Old North Church steeple and the Faneule Hall clock tower amid the modern buildings. From the Ship Yard, you can also see the monument that stands above Bunker Hill.
The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world... and it never lost a battle once. It's nicknamed 'Old Ironsides' because of all the cannons along its sides. Admission is free, but due to increased security since September 2001, you will not be allowed on the ship until your bags are inspected and you walk through a metal detector. 'Built in Boston to defend the young American nation, currently it's nearly as old as the document for which George Washington named her. Both the document and the ship have proven to be resilient symbols of America's strength, courage, and liberty.' They hope to keep it that way.
The Constitution, or "Old Ironsides" as it was affectionately named, is the oldest warship afloat in the world. You can clamber abroad and check out all the old armaments and navigational instruments. Admission is free but you must pass a security checkpoint to get on board so make sure to leave your nail clippers at home.
I would recommend doing the Freedom Trail in two parts.
I was overly ambitious in walking the entire freedom trail in one day, but it is EXHAUSTING. It's quite a lot to take in.
Do the USS Constitution on a separate day- there's a lot to see. The free tour inside, but the museum along-side can be an hour-hour and half in itself. The video is worth seeing regarding the history of the USS Constitution, and the displays are fun for children.
Here's the most important tip of all- Take the ferry that's leaves from near the USS Constitution for a nice scenic route back... it's a way to get in both land and water without paying for those tours
The USS Constitution is the oldest US commissioned ship... and beside the amazing history, it's a beautiful ship. Whether you can (or want to) get in or not... just try to get to the Boston Harbour and see this magnificent ship.
There is a museum to look into it opens at 9am.
The Constitution is closed on a Monday: Open to visitors for FREE at 10.30am.
The oldest warship is HMS Victory in dry dock in Portsmouth England. Nelson's flagship.
The Constitution is 32 years younger.
You can also board a
a World War 2 Warship USS Cassin Young..
A monument to the Korean War is near-by.
This is a nicely preserved XIX-century tallship. It is located on the northern back of Charles river in Charlestown near Bunker Hill. Unfortunately, it is not convenient to subway: you either have to return or walk through Charlestown to Community College station.
The U.S.S constitution is a navy boat that is over 200 hundred years old. It is staffed with navy reservists and you have the option of going and guiding yourself with a pamphlet or waiting longer to have a guided tour which includes seeing the downstairs area of the ship. There is also a small but quaint private museum you can learn about the history of navy boats and what life at sea was like in the 19th century.
Better known as "Old Ironsides," the USS Constitution can be found at anchor in her berth at the Charlestown Navy Yard. It is the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. fleet along with being the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. Its a vestige of the days of "wooden ships and iron men", when she and her crew of 200 succeeded at the perilous task of asserting the sovereignty of an improbable new nation. Every July 4 and on certain other occasions she's towed out for a turnabout in Boston Harbor, the very place her keel was laid on October 21, 1797.
It is a beautiful sailing ship that had its brass bell; many of its copper fittings; and it’s bottom sheathed in copper, all supplied by .Paul Revere. Her hull was made of white oak from the sea islands of Georgia. the toughest wood grown in North America. Her principal service was during Thomas Jefferson's campaign against the Barbary pirates, off the coast of North Africa, and in the War of 1812. In 42 engagements, her record was 42-0 with 20 vessels captured. The nickname "Old Ironsides" was acquired during the War of 1812, when shots from the British warship Guerrière appeared to bounce off her tough oaken hull.
Today she only has about 8%-10% of her original wood remaining in place, though her heart, the “keel” is original. The ship was retired from combat in 1815, and was rescued from destruction when Oliver Wendell Holmes's poem Old Ironsides launched a preservation movement in 1830. She underwent a major restoration in the early 1990s, and only about 8%-10% of her original wood remained in place (the keel, the heart of the ship, is original). This was in preparation for its bicentennial in 1997, when it sailed under its own power for the first time since 1881.
Men and women of the regular navy maintain a 24-hour watch. Free tours have sailors showing visitors around the ship, guiding them to her top, or spar, deck, and the gun deck below