In the 18th century, as the British Empire expanded around the globe, only one city within its boundaries could rival London in terms of size, commerce, and sophistication. That city was Philadelphia, thousands of miles from the Empire’s seat. Long before the birth of the American republic, Philadelphia was an epicenter of opposition to the British crown, and over time the culture of dissent expanded to include such prominent figures as Benjamin Franklin. It was in Philadelphia, the greatest city on the American continent at that time, that the Continental Congress met to draw up the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States (1787). The city was the capital of the new nation for many years, until the government moved to Washington, DC in 1800.

Modern-day Philadelphia continues to be steeped in this history. The city’s most famous monuments are Independence Hall, where the Constitution was first written and discussed, and the Liberty Bell, whose shape (with its distinctive crack) has become a global symbol of democracy. The bell once hung in the steeple of Independence Hall, and was rung to call legislators into the hall for debates. Its inscription reads, “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land and unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

In addition to its rich history, Philadelphia is a notable city for food and nightlife, and has a huge number of large public parks. The “City of Brotherly Love” boasts a rising quality of life for its residents, and an increasing variety of attractions for visitors.


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