The Liberty Bell is a symbol of America. As the bell in the Pennsylvania State House, it was rung on many occasions, but none so important as the first reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776.
The Liberty Bell's future home on 6th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets will provide visitors with a glorious view of Independence Hall. The thoughtful, angled placement of the Liberty Bell in a glass structure will make it possible to see Independence Hall against the sky rather than against a backdrop of 20th century buildings. The new Liberty Bell Center will incorporate three discrete but physically and thematicaly connected elements: a shaded outdoor arcade containing educational materials, an inside interpretive exhibit hall, and a new chamber for the Bell. In this new configuration visitors will have a chance to gain an understanding of the Liberty Bell's history and the many inspiring stories associated with it. The exhibits will be a fitting prelude to their personal and often emotional encounter with the nation's most recognized icon of freedom.
We got off at Fifth Street(at north side) and entered at the Visitor Center (pic 1) first to get a map of the park (Independence Mall) and our (free) timed tickets for the Independence Hall later in the day. We had about 3 hours for the tour in the Hall so we went first to check some other sites, and of course the best one is located just a few meters away from the Visitor Center.
It’s the Liberty Bell of course. We went through the security check and approached the Liberty Bell (pic 2). There is always a guard next to it because some years before a crazy man tried to damage the bell. We got our pics of it and then spend some time in the museum where we checked old photos and general info about the Liberty Bell (pics 3-4).
The bell weights about a tone and has a visible crack and that’s why all the souvenirs showing the bell are like broken ones :) It was first cast in London (in 1751), arrived in Philadelphia in 1752 and in the following decades it cracked, recast, cracked and recast again! Of course, it’s one of the most recognized icons in USA, most people know it because it rang to celebrate the Declaration of Independence on july 8, 1776.
The Liberty Bell center is open daily 9.00-17.00 and there’s no entrance fee.
Usually there’s a huge line waiting to get inside, hopefully we went there on a cloudy day when nobody else was around, so it was ok for me to see this cracked bell but as I said it’s a national symbol of USA. I was surprised that the bell is kind of small, I was expecting to see something big…
Anyway, we got outside on the Independence Mall again (pic 5), we were a few meters away from Independence Hall
The bell tower steeple of Independence Hall was the original home of the "Liberty Bell" and today it holds a "Centennial Bell" that was created for the United States Centennial Exposition in 1876. The original Liberty Bell, with the distinctive crack, is now on display across the street in the Liberty Bell Center. In 1976 Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain visited Philadelphia and presented a gift to the American people of a replica Bicentennial Bell, which was cast in the same British foundry as the original. This 1976 bell hangs in the modern bell tower located on 3rd Street near Independence Hall.
The Liberty Bell was originally purchased from London and hung in the State House (now Independence Hall) steeple. It wasn't long before a crack formed on the bell causing it to be melted and recast twice before it finally stayed in the steeple. The final bell weighed more than 2000lbs and a visible crack can be seen till today.
The bell tolled many times to call the Assembly together and to summon people together for special announcements and events, namely the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776.
You can visit this famous bell at the Liberty Bell Center since it was opened in October, 2003. The center is open daily 9am-5pm with extended hours July and August. The bell is visible 24 hours a day.
One of America's most famous, instantly recognized icons, this bell was cast in London in 1751. The inscription reads "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof" (from the Bible, Leviticus 25:10). It arrived in Philadelphia the next year, where it soon cracked. It was recast, cracked again, and recast again.
On July 8, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read to the people gathered in front of Independence Hall. The rebellious colonists rang the bell to celebrate the event. During the war, it was hidden.
Afterward, it was replaced in the tower of Independence Hall. But it eventually cracked again. Since 1976, it's been on public display at the Liberty Bell Pavilion. Admission is free, but lines tend to be rather long.
The bell is mostly copper and tin, with small amounts of other metals. The yoke is made of American elm (also called slippery elm). It weighs just over a ton.
OK OK OK ... Its just a bell. It's a famous bell, but it's just a bell with a crack in it. When the US declared independence from the British Empire, this is the bell that rang to proclaim the act. Ironically, it was forged in England. Still, the Liberty Bell is one of the most famous national symbols of the USA. The pavilion itself is not the stuff of legend. It's crowded, kids are screaming, and you'll never get a picture without a ton of people in the background, but its also the symbol of Philadelphia.
Security here is extremely tight, worse than in airports. The attraction is, however, free.
Near Independence Hall is the Liberty Bell. You do not need a ticket or to go through security to get in to see it. There is an excellent museum here that gives you information about the Liberty Bell and it's history then you go in to see the actual bell. It's very impressive.
The Liberty Bell has been housed in its new pavilion since 2004, directly across the street from Independence Hall. On a cold but sunny Thursday in January there were few visitors. After a security check, we strolled through the one-story building and read the information posted. After a few minutes we came upon the famous cracked bell. One of our party commented that it was small, but nevertheless, a great symbol.
The Liberty Bell is famous because it was rung on 8 July 1776 to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. It was originally designed and constructed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of William Penn's 1701 Charter of Privileges, which served the role as Pennsylvania's first constitution. His charter granted religious freedoms, allowed average citizens to partake in lawmaking, and had a liberal view of Indians, therefore, the quote inscribed on the bell was particularly apt "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." This quote earned even more meaning after the bell was rung to announce the Declaration of Independence.
The original bell was cast at Whitechapel Foundry in London, arrived in Philadelphia in 1752, then was hung is 1753, but cracked upon its first ringing. John Pass and John Stow of Philadelphia recast the bell twice with a bit of copper for strengthening, and it was rehung later the same year. Throughout the upcoming years it was rung to announce many events such as the Stamp Act meetings, the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and the meeting of the First Continental Congress. When the British occupied Philadelphia in 1777, the bell was hidden at the Zion Reformed Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania, so as to prevent the British from using the metal for cannon balls. The actual time the famous crack occurred is unknown and still debated by historians.
The Liberty Bell is now housed in a new building with airport-style security along with airport-style lines. To avoid the wait, head around to the side of the building facing Independence Hall and you can see the bell through the glass.
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