Built as a replacement for the Gothic-style church that burned down in 1956, the majestically modern Cathedral of St. Joseph built in was built in 1962. The cathedral is beautifully adorned with stained glass, elegant bronze bells and ceramic-titled murals that surround the altar of this impressive edifice.
This home on Farmington Avenue is where Mark Twain lived from 1874 until he moved to Europe (due to bankruptcy) in 1891. It is also the place where Twain wrote some of his most famous works, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The estate is in constant renovation and the curating team is always looking to restore it as it was when Twain lived here. Nonetheless, the adjacent Museum offers an exclusive documentary about the writer by director Ken Burns and the home was one of the first 100 architectural sites to be registered as a National Historic Landmark in the United States.
Since the American Revolution, Connecticut has had three Capitols; built in 1878, this angelic-white structure is the state's third and last one. Designed by renowned American architect Richard M. Upjohn, the gold-domed building was erected in the Victorian Eastlake Movement-style and constructed using marble sourced from three different East Coast states. The iconic structure's stunning main facade is embellished with a series of carefully-crafted statues that bear likenesses to some of the most influential politicians and historic citizens to have come out of Connecticut. The capitol building is currently home to the state senate and the house of representatives, while also maintaining the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state.
Riverside Park is one of Hartford's oldest public parks and its location on the waterfront invites all for a relaxing stroll or bike ride next to the water. The series of four, 148-acre parks on both sides of the River are popular picnicking and excursion spots for Hartford's residents and the many people who work Downtown during the week. Visitors can use the boathouse for rowing along the Connecticut River, get permits to go fishing or during the summer months, and even attend one of the numerous events at the riverfront venue, Mortensen Riverfront Plaza.
One of the nation's oldest state houses, Hartford's Old State House dates back to 1796. A Federal-style building designed by famed architect Charles Bulfinch, the Old State House has been restored on numerous occasions and has been on the list of National Historic Landmarks since 1966. The state house bears an assemblage of architectural influences, where a Federal Styled-facade gives way to a Victorian chamber and a courtroom awash in Colonial Revival style. Home to the Museum of Natural and Other Curiosities, this regal, brick-hued edifice overlooks a pristine lawn, and lords over the sleek cityscape of Hartford. Even though it has not served the Connecticut government since the construction of the new State Capitol building, the Old State House is a stirring canopy lending insights into the history of the state.
With a congregation founded in 1636, the Center Church is the fourth meeting house to reside on its current location with the present church built in 1807. The Center Church has always maintained itself as not just a religious icon of the city, but as a cultural one as well. Today, there are concerts and important city events, such as First Night, which are held on the grounds of the church. Also on the site of the church is Hartford's oldest cemetery, the Ancient Burial Ground, where its citizens were interred from 1640 to 1802. "Our Church is 375 years old; our thinking is not" is the motto of the 375 year-old house of worship and is one of the most progressive congregations in the state.
Upholding the principles of equality, liberty, and dignity, the Connecticut Freedom Trail pays homage to the long-standing African American struggle which materialized in Connecticut. This heritage trail immortalizes the brave men and women who struggled against slavery before it was abolished in 1865. Established in 1996, the Connecticut Freedom Trail is spread throughout the state and is embellished with more than 130 historically-significant sites which are a reminder of the legendary struggle. The trail explores the journey of escaped slaves to avoid capture and the fight against slavery. The trail includes underground railroad safe havens, such as barns and homes, as well as locations where the freed slaves settled down and built communities. Some of the many sites embedded on to the course of the trail are African American Memorial, Chauncey Brown House, Lyman Homestead, Old North Cemetery and Mark Twain House.
Trinity Episcopal Church is a charming church nestled at the heart of the city. This church dates back to the 1859 and was situated at a different location. The church was moved to the present address only in the late 19th Century. The church welcomes everyone for worshiping and regularly arranges masses and prayers. Besides being a religious place, the church is the meeting venue for people fighting against social problems.
Since its inception in the 17th century, South Congregational Church of Hartford has been serving the Presbyterian community of the city. Claimed to be one of the oldest churches in the country, this church boasts a rich and vibrant history spanning at least four centuries. While the structure as we see it was complete in the early 20th century, it does contain a few elements from the past.