Liberty Bell






Welcome to PHILADELPHIA, the place that loves you back! The fifth-largest city in the United States and the second-largest on the East Coast, Philadelphia is one of the world's most dynamic destinations. In Philadelphia, you' ll be at the crossroads of big city excitement and hometown hospitality where the promise of the future meets old world charm. Most famous as the birthplace of American independence and home of the Liberty Bell, Philadelphia offers a unique variety of attractions, culture, entertainment and activity that is sure to bring a smile to your face.

The original capital of the nation, Philadelphia was laid out by William Penn Jr. in 1682, on a grid system that was to provide the pattern for most American cities. It was envisaged as a "greene countrie towne", and today, for all its historical and cultural significance, it still manages to retain a certain quaintness. Just a few blocks away from the noise, crowds, heat and dust of downtown, shady cobbled alleys stand lined with red-brick colonial houses, while the peace and quiet of huge Fairmount Park make it easy to forget you're in a major metropolis.

Settled by Quakers, Philadelphia prospered swiftly on the back of trade and commerce, and by the 1750s had become the second largest city in the British Empire. Economic power fueled strong revolutionary feeling, and the city was the capital during the War of Independence. It also served as the US capital until 1800, while Washington DC was being built. The Declaration of Independence was written, signed and first publicly read here in 1776, as was the US Constitution ten years later. Philadelphia was also a hotbed of new ideas in the arts and sciences, as epitomized by the scientist, philosopher, statesman, inventor and printer Benjamin Franklin.

Philadelphia, which translated from Greek means "City of Brotherly Love", is in fact one of the most ethnically mixed US cities, with substantial communities of Italians, Irish, eastern Europeans and Asians living side by side among the majority black population. Many of the city's black residents are descendants of the migrants who flocked here after the Civil War when, like Chicago, Philadelphia was seen as a place of tolerance and liberalism.

Philadelphia's strength today is its great energy – fueled by history, strong cultural institutions, and an impressive new downtown convention center – grounded in its many traditional neighborhoods.

Check out Philly!

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