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Culture

Top Rated Attractions in Providence

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Cape Verdean Museum

This museum tells the fascinating story of Cape Verdean Americans and their culture. Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony, located off the coast of West Africa, that gained independence in 1975. Men and women from there migrated to New England in the 1800s and onward, working on whaling ships and Cape Cod's cranberry bogs. They brought with them a unique culture. part African, part European and have continued to have strong bonds with their mother country to this day. Their story is a fascinating one and this museum, the first of its kind in the country, tells it with well-organized exhibits and rare artifacts. The museum is closed during the winter.

Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church

Attend services at this English decorated style church. Built in 1862 in open fields, the stone building is now in the center of Brown University located on the East Side of Providence. A peaceful country church feeling pervades the atmosphere of this gothic Middle Age structure. Music of the liturgy drifts into the high alcoves of Our Lady's Chapel. The Chapel affords east and west views, a reminder of parish diversity at St. Stephens. Daily Services, small weddings and funerals are held in the Chapel.

Providence Performing Arts Center

The Providence Performing Arts Center is the second largest theater in New England. It seats 3200 people and it originally opened as a Loew's movie theater in 1928. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places after its 1977 renovation. In this baroquely elegant space, the stage is set for Broadway musicals and concerts. Events as diverse as a Jackson Browne concert or The Sound of Music can be found on this venerable establishment's schedule. Located downtown on Weybosset Street, PPAC (pronounced Pea-Pac, as it is known locally) is close to many downtown hotels as well as other attractions.

Providence Athenaeum

The Providence Athenaeum is one of America's oldest member-supported libraries and it has functioned as such since 1753 (though the present structure was built in 1838). According to 19th-century legend, the poet Edgar Allen Poe courted Sarah Whitman in the stacks of this granite Greek Revival building. Some of the collections include documents and books from the original Providence Library, rare editions from American authors like Louisa May Alcott and Herman Melville along with the Robert Burns collection, which has more than 400 items. Today, the Athenaeum hosts events throughout the year with a focus on education for both adults as well as children.

Brown University

In 1764, three men from Newport established 'The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations'. For the sake of brevity, it was shortened to Brown University in 1804. It is one of the original eight Ivy League Colleges. Standing strong ever since its inception in 1764, Brown University boasts an excellent educational offering which spans diverse disciplines including engineering, design, ancient studies, archaeology, academics and sciences among others. However, the university bears as much brilliance in its architecture as it does in its academics. Its campus is laden with exceptional examples of late 18th-century architecture residing around the Wriston and Simmons quadrangles, as well as those on the Pembroke College campus, and along Benefit Street. The college remains one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United States.

First Unitarian Church

Destroyed once by fire and rebuilt in the 19th century, this striking pale stone and wood edifice attracts visitors strolling historic Benefit Street. The Gothic-looking spire rises tall above this corner of College Hill, with its handsome black-faced clock, and the church bells can be heard tolling through a portion of the East Side. The services at the First Unitarian Church start on Sundays from 10.30am.

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