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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
First established in 1729 along the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore was the site of several noteworthy events of the American Revolution and the War of 1812, the most notable being the Battle of Baltimore. An American lawyer, Francis Scott Key, witnessed this battle unfold in 1814, the sight of the American flag fluttering above the ramparts of the nearby Fort McHenry his inspiration for the United States' National Anthem - the Star Spangled Banner. Today, Baltimore's Inner Harbor is where the action is at, ripe with superb restaurants, fabulous boutiques and some of the city's most popular attractions, including the national Aquarium, the American Visionary Art Museum and the Maryland Science Center. Nearby, Fells Point is the historic quarter of Baltimore, its cobblestone streets and lively pubs still reminiscent of the city's British roots. The city is also known for its African American heritage, illustrated by various monuments, museums and landmarks. With its nautical roots, down-to-earth spirit and homegrown culture, Baltimore remains 'Charm City' even as world-class museums and family-friendly attractions bring more and more tourists to its shore. For a real taste of Baltimore's local flavor, catch an O’s Game at Oriole Park, picnic at Fort McHenry, and attend one of the city's many festivals, parades and celebrations.
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.
Formerly called "The German Cathedral" due to its South German neo-Gothic style, St. Alphonsus Catholic Church is a historic landmark designed by the famous architect Robert Cary Long in 1845. Many saints, including Blessed George Matulaitis and St. John Neumann, have prayed here, making this church a place of religious importance in the Catholic community.
The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore is a non-profit that creates a vibrant downtown for both businesses and visitors. The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore hosts events throughout the year, including concert series.