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Culture

Top Rated Attractions in Baltimore

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Baltimore Basilica

Considered one of the finest examples of Neoclassical architecture, the Baltimore Basilica is the nation's oldest Catholic cathedral. Begun in 1806 and completed in 1821, the cathedral was designed by Benjamin Latrobe, architect of the U.S. Capitol. With its six Corinthian columns fronting a grand portico, the cathedral resembles a Greek temple. Nine stained-glass windows fill the massive interior with light. Visitors in recent years have included Pope John Paul II and the late Mother Theresa.

American Visionary Art Museum

'Visionary Art' is a term used to describe art that is created by people who use ordinary media to express their own intensely personal ideas about life. This museum has assembled a wonderful collection of this very Visionary art. Since Visionary artists generally lack formal training, and work outside of established art traditions, their works are as bold, innovative and inspirational as the visions that spawned them. Children under six years of age are free.

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

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.

Baltimore Museum of Art

The soul of this museum is its spacious wing dedicated to Modern Art masters like Rothko, de Kooning, Pollock, and their contemporaries. A haven for art enthusiasts and even culture seekers, The Baltimore Museum of Art is famed for housing the second-largest private collection of Andy Warhol's works and displaying exquisite artworks spanning various styles and times. Also, exquisite collections by celebrated artists like Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh are displayed here. It also features African art, Asian art, American Indian pieces, European art, and a beautiful sculpture garden. The BMA is also home to the Cone Collection, a treasury of Early Modern masterpieces.

Federal Hill Park

Federal Hill Park is a pristine park offering spectacular views of the Inner Harbor and a wonderful, fenced-in play area for the kids, complete with slides, a sandbox and monkey bars. Dogs are also welcome. While you're visiting the park, take a moment to learn about one of Baltimore's most prominent citizens. A monument details the life of Major General Samuel Smith, who helped defeat the British attack on Baltimore during the War of 1812. He went on to become a Congressman, then president of the Senate and, finally, mayor of Baltimore.

Washington Monument

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).

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