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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Where the Country Started

Sights and top ten attractions

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Collections from over 2,000 years of human cultural history as well as celebrated exhibitions make this museum one of the most important cultural institutions in the country and at the same time a symbol of Philadelphia. Masterpieces from painting, sculpture, decorative arts and architecture from Europe, Asia and America can be viewed here. The Museum of Art (or the steps that lead up to the museum) became world famous through the film Rocky (1976) with Sylvester Stallone. Events such as readings, concerts, film screenings and family events take place regularly in the imposing neoclassical building. www.philamuseum.org

Reading Terminal Market
After two markets were demolished in 1892 to make way for a train station, a new market was created under the roof of a train hall. Back then, people even came here from New Jersey to buy fresh Lancaster County produce. The Terminal Market then almost fell into disrepair and was even supposed to be dissolved in the 1970s. But it was revived and now has more than 80 stores selling groceries, flowers, handicrafts and the specialties of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Various events such as live music, market tours or cooking courses take place there throughout the year. www.readingterminalmarket.org

Barnes Foundation
The largest private collection of French paintings of early French modernism and post-impressionist works from around the world opened in a new museum on Benjamin Franklin Parkway in 2012. Over 600 works of art, including 181 Renoirs, 46 Picassos, antique furniture, ceramics, African sculptures and wrought iron objects can be admired here. www.barnesfoundation.org

National Museum of American Jewish History
The only museum in the United States that tells the story, challenges, and successes of American Jews. The striking glass building offers visitors state-of-the-art interactive exhibitions. www.nmajh.org

Independence National Historical Park
The story of the founding of America can be experienced on a walking tour of the most historic square mile in the United States. There are more than a dozen important historical sites and attractions, like this Liberty Bell Center - which is home to and reports on the bell that heralded the first reading of the American Declaration of Independence in Independence Square - the UNESCO World Heritage Site Independence Hall, in which the Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson was adopted in 1776, and the Presidential House are located here . The tour should start at the Independence Visitor Center. www.nps.gov/inde

National Constitution Center
The only museum in the world entirely dedicated to the United States Constitution, tells the story of this document through a moving live amphitheater, interactive exhibits, and artifacts in a grand building in Independence National Historical Park. constitutioncenter.org

Shop tax free
Pennsylvania has no taxes on shoes or clothing, which makes Philadelphia a shoppers paradise. Downtown Philadelphia offers a variety of shops and specialty stores e.g. in Antique Row, exclusive boutiques and other great offers. The popular American brands also offer the King of Prussia Mall and the Philadelphia Premium Outlets a few miles outside of Center City.

Avenue of the Arts
Avenue of the Arts is one of the most interesting streets in the region. Here are over 50 venues for art and culture, such as the spectacular Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts as well as numerous shops and restaurants. Countless theaters, galleries, concerts and dance performances make a visit a unique experience. www.kimmelcenter.org

Elfreth’s Alley
Thirty-two of the oldest inhabited homes in the United States are on this cobblestone block that was once home to Colonial artisans such as blacksmith Jeremiah Elfreth and historical figures. In addition to a stroll through Elfreth’s Alley, a visit to the Museum der Straße, which is divided into house numbers 124 and 126, is also worthwhile. In building number 124, in which the museum shop is also located, guided tours are offered, during which one gets an overview of the 300-year history of the street as well as an insight into everyday life in the 18th century. www.elfrethsalley.org

Sports
Philadelphia is one of the cities in the USA that are particularly enthusiastic about sports and offers five professional sports teams that can be experienced live in state-of-the-art sports facilities as well as high-class college sports. In addition to the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team and the Philadelphia Eagles (American football), ice hockey (Philadelphia Flyers), basketball (Philadelphia 76ers) and lacrosse (Philadelphia Wings) games can also be attended.

More information can be found on the website www.discoverphl.de

Welcome to Philadelphia!

Philadelphia is not only a city with a long history but also with modern high-tech ideas. Although the city is best known as the birthplace of American democracy, you can learn a lot about the tradition of freedom and innovation by visiting the diverse neighborhoods and interesting museums.
You will find a wealth of interesting information in the 20-page PDF travel guide. Philadelphia Travel Guide.pdf

© Photos Paul Haselmayr

Impressions from a weekend in Philadelphia