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Notable Architecture

Top Rated Attractions in Philadelphia

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Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

Due to its spellbinding architecture and sheer grandeur, Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul is a must-visit place on the list of every tourist in Philadelphia. This beautiful cathedral is the centerpiece of one of the largest Catholic populations in North America. It was designed by celebrated architect Napoleon LeBrun and constructed between 1846 and 1864 by blending Palladian and Italian Renaissance architectural styles. A beautiful “baldachin” or “canopy” over the altar is evidence of the Italian influence while the church façade is in the Palladian style. In fact, you may be forgiven for thinking you are in Europe while viewing this glorious cathedral. Embark on an audio tour and learn more about its eight chapels, 2000-seat sanctuary, vaulted copper dome, and a spectacular apse featuring red marble carvings and stained glass work. During the tour, you will also be familiarized with the fascinating history of the basilica. As Pennsylvania's largest Catholic church, this monument is recorded in the National Register of Historic Places.

Independence Hall

The red-bricked Georgian building in the midst of the 45-acre (18.2-hectare) Independence National Historical Park is one of the most recognizable historical landmarks in the nation, emblematic of the culmination of a series of epoch-making events that led to the birth of an independent America. The place where both the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States (1787) were signed, the Independence Hall has come to be synonymous with the the ideas of freedom and democracy that the declaration is hinged on, and stands tall on Philadelphia's historic Chestnut Street, flanked by side wings and a steeple. Constructed between 1732 and 1753, the famed Independence Hall was the brainchild of Andrew Hamilton and Edmund Woolley, and also served as the meeting place for the Second Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention. The iconic Liberty Bell is located right around the corner, although its original home was Independence Hall's bell tower.

Philadelphia City Hall

Gothic and neoclassical influences dominate the features of City Hall. The statue of William Penn that resides atop City Hall's clock tower remains a Philadelphia skyline marker—until the 1980s there was a "gentleman's agreement" that no Philadelphia building would be built higher than the rim of Penn's hat. City Hall provides a majestic backdrop for shoppers and businesspersons alike as it is situated on the intersection of the city's two main arteries, Broad and Market Streets. The tour of the City Hall lasts for 1.5 to 2 hours.

Barclay Farmstead

Barclay Farm House is a Federal-style farmhouse dating back to the 19th Century. Spanning across 32 acres (12.95 hectares) of land, the farmhouse features a herb garden, farm buildings, playground, community gardens, orchard and nature trails following River Cooper. Besides numerous tours of the interiors, the house also plays host to outdoor concerts, craft fairs and other such cultural events. If you want to glimpse at a slice of local history and culture, then a visit to Barclay Farm House can be a great idea. Note that besides the usual timings, Barclay Farm House is also open to the public on the first Sunday of every month from April to November between 12p to 4p.

Cherry Hill Public Library

Cherry Hill Public Library is housed in a municipal structure owned by the municipality. The present structure was designed in the year 2004 by Malcolm Wells, a leading architect. The edifice features a rather unconventional design plan.

Rodney Square

Named after the American revolutionary leader Caesar Rodney, John J. Raskob built a historic and public square- Rodney Square in the 20th century and is now considered as the pulse of the city. The square is used for festivals and other celebrations. It is a perfect blend of architecture from ancient to modern time which includes Italian Renaissance, Classical Revival, Beaux-Arts and Moderne.

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