Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link. And to my American followers, be sure to show up at the polls tomorrow and vote!
We started our day at the Independence Visitor Center to pick up our tickets for the Independence Hall tour. The rangers were very helpful and gave directions to various sites and even got us on an earlier tour than the one we’d reserved. (Be sure to use the restrooms here because there are none in the historic buildings once you go through security.)
Independence Hall was built in 1732 to be the Pennsylvania State House. It is the birthplace of the USA, where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated and signed.
You can reserve a guided tour of Independence Hall on the NPS website for a nominal fee (it cost me $7.50 for the 5 of us.) Tickets are free on the day of, but tours do book up quickly. Getting tickets for the tour is the only way to see the inside of the building where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The tour is pretty brief, but interesting and it is inspiring to stand in the place where our founding fathers formed our nation. The tour is limited to the first floor rooms most of the year, but may include the second floor in early winter months.
Our ranger first took us into the Courtroom of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. It was here in 1776 that the Patriots stormed in and tore down the King’s coat of arms in an act of defiance.
Next we went to the Assembly Room. This is the room where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. It later became a shrine to the founding of America, housing the Liberty Bell. After his assassination, Lincoln’s body was laid out here before burial. Now it has since been restored to its 1776 appearance.
Afterwards, be sure to wait on the line for the tour at the congressional building next door…there are no reservations for that one and it is much more extensive than the one in Independence Hall. I will cover that in a future post. Both tours really drove home the awe and respect we should all have for what these men accomplished in 1776.
Location: Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th Streets, Philadelphia, PA
Designation: National Historical Park
Date NPS designation declared: 1951
Date of my visit: August 2017