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Historical

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.

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.

Cylburn Arboretum

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.

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).

Inner Harbor

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.

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