East meets West at The Walters. The museum was established in 1934, with a gift from prominent art collector Henry Walters as its initial collection. On one hand, its collection spans nearly the entire history of Western art. Its spacious galleries are home to Greek and Roman statuary, Baroque carvings and a large collection of Renaissance paintings. On the other hand, its elegant Hackerman House wing holds one of the largest collections of traditional Asian art in the United States.
The sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the 'Star Spangled Banner'. The fort is best known for the part it played during the War of 1812, successfully holding off an attack by the British Navy. When Scott Key saw the flag still flying over the fort after surviving the attack, he wrote the poem that became the national anthem. Today, the fort is a National Historic Park. The restored barracks hold exhibits of military and historical artifacts and a well-kept trail runs along the water's edge, affording spectacular views of ships entering and leaving the busy harbor.
This 173-acre (70 hectares) woodland park in the heart of Baltimore offers nature lovers a respite from the noise and congestion of the city. Formerly an estate, the home and grounds are open to visitors today and include a horticultural reference library, a bird and nature museum and a gift shop. The grounds include formal and woodland gardens and trails. Throughout the year, symposiums, workshops and exhibits on a variety of horticultural-related subjects are held.
The soul of this museum is its spacious wing dedicated to Modern Art masters like Rothko, de Kooning, Pollock and their contemporaries. The museum has the second largest private collection of Andy Warhol's works. It also features Oceanic and American Indian art, a sizable Old Masters collection and a beautiful sculpture garden. The BMA is also home to the Cone collection, which is a treasury of Early Modern masterpieces.
Towering above Mount Vernon Place is Baltimore's Washington Monument. The marble Doric column towers 178 feet (54.25 meters) with a statue of George Washington at its crown. The reward for climbing the steep, winding 228 steps is a breathtaking, bird's-eye view of Baltimore. The base contains a small museum with exhibits chronicling the architecture and development of the monument, which took nearly 15 years to build (1815-1829).
Inner Harbor has come to be a significant place in the city of Baltimore and considered a must-visit attraction. The small waterfront, which serves as a top destination, rose to prominence during the 1950s when it was revitalized for recreational and leisure activities along with grass-covered parks for its people. Over the next decade, parks and plazas, buildings and hotels, even corporate conventions and government units were added to the Inner Harbor. Places like Maryland Science Center, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Ripley’s Believe it Or Not - Odditorium, are major attractions that delight people of all ages. The area still embraces its glorious history and the Baltimore Museum of Industry is an apt example. Admirers of the past can take a step back in time by visiting any or all of the five historic ships that are permanently stationed at the Inner Harbor. The elevated 27th floor of the World Trade Center situated in Inner Harbor allows a bird-eye view of the city of Baltimore.
The works of H.L. Mencken, the sage of Baltimore and Edgar Allan Poe, another writer often associated with the city, can be explored at this library. In fact, two rooms are devoted to their writings and their lives. One of the largest libraries in the county, the Enoch Pratt also serves as a State Library Resource Center, which provides all Maryland libraries with access to state and federal government documents and other materials. The library has an impressive collection of books about Baltimore, Maryland and the region.
The Peabody Institute was the first conservatory in the United States. It was founded in 1857 by philanthropist George Peabody and has been part of the Johns Hopkins University since 1977. The institute boasts four concert halls and the Peabody Library and is home to the Peabody Conservatory, John Steven Limited which offers private musical lessons and the Peabody Preparatory, a non-degree program that offers classes for people of all ages. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Dominick Argento and vocalist/pianist Tori Amos attended the institute. Students, faculty and other performers often stage free public concerts.
The four squares that surround the historic Washington Monument together form Mount Vernon Place. These four squares were created after the monument was built in order to create a spectacular setting for it. Although the monument is the crowning jewel of the park, by itself too the park is a sight to behold. Verdant trees, grass and shrubs, paved walkways, and beautiful statues and fountains dot the park, making it one of the finest urban landscapes in the world. Mount Vernon Place also has plenty of benches and dining options and is surrounded by houses that have still retained their old-world charm, making it a great spot for spending a peaceful day. Located nearby are the Lexington Market, the Hippodrome Theater, and the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
Built in 1814 by Charles Wilson Peale, one of the first American painters to achieve a place of distinction in the fine arts, the Peale Museum features a collection of 40 Peale family portraits and houses several natural history displays. Peale's collection of specimens gave scientists and visitors the opportunity to study animals and plants outside their natural environment. This museum was the first to display the complete skeleton of a mastodon. It is still standing today and the building was registered as a National Historical Landmark in 1965.