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.
Sit on the sloping lawn or in the reserved boxes under the high shed awning. Pick up a drink or some food from the stalls by the back fence—everything from hot dogs to a full-course salmon dinner served by waiters. This outdoor stage is the summer home to the Philadelphia Orchestra, plus a schedule of jazz, rock, big band, the Philly Pops, opera, theatre, and dance. The acoustics can be unreliable and Philadelphia's erratic weather can be a problem, but you can sit in Fairmount Park, hear a good show, and look at the soft night lights of the downtown skyline.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art features over 200 galleries filled with treasures spanning continents and cultures, drawn from a collection of more than 400,000 works of art. The huge stone edifice of the museum, supported by majestic Doric columns, looks over the Schuylkill River. Scale the steps made famous in the 'Rocky' movies.
In the 19th century, the Academy was the American equivalent of the best European art schools. A host of genres and mediums from the most prominent names in American art are constantly on display, with new pieces rotating their way into the collection. Some of America's best artists either taught or were students here, including Thomas Eakins and Mary Cassatt. The building itself is a work of art designed by Frank Furness, an influential 19th-century American architect.
Philadelphia Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the nation. Founded in 1874, this 42-acre (17-hectare) sanctuary on the Schuylkill River bank is home to over 100 species of rare and exotic fauna. Explore the Carnivore Kingdom, Reptile Exercise Yard, Monkey Junction, Small Mammal House, the Big Cat Crossing and other exhibits, and acquaint yourself with wildlife and their conservation. They shelter the Brazilian Agouti, Carribean Flamingo, and endangered species like the Micronesian Kingfisher, Western Lowland Gorrila and Panamanian Golden Frog. Visitors can also follow their interesting trails like Treetop or Great Ape. Children can enjoy river boat rides, safaris and the Amazon Rainforest Carousel. A viist is a great activity for school groups, campers, families and friends.
A working class Philadelphian himself, Dr. Albert Coombs Barnes established the foundation in 1922 to promote appreciation of the fine arts among the common man. Over the years, the Barnes Foundation has procured one of the most noteworthy collections of early French modern and post-impressionist paintings in the world. Works by artists like Renoir, Cezanne, Monet, Picasso and Rousseau are part of the collection. The collection has only toured once and then only a fraction of it was sent out. It is necessary to call ahead for a reserved admission ticket.
The splendid Georgian religious structure is the oldest church building in the United States that is famed as a National Historic Landmark. Explore the interesting stone carvings on its exterior. Located in an interesting setting on the burial grounds of Fort Christiana, it is considered as the throne of the city. The parish church still welcomes parishioners and conducts regular masses. Come and explore this historic, Gothic marvel.
Kalmar Nyckel Foundation organizes plenty of events and keep the local communities active through their participation. Quite a few events take place on the ship, Kalmar Nyckel, which is always a fun experience. Check out their website for the history of the ship and more about the foundation.
1. The Kalmar Nyckel Museum Institute is one of a kind, that tells the patrons not only about the colourful history of the Kalmar Nyckel Ship, but also takes visitors for sails. Visit the Museum to know about the journey of the Ship from the yards of Delaware, into the service of the Dutch, and its enduring trips in the Atlantic. There are guided tours of the Museum, and the volunteers narrate the happenings that took place almost 400 years back to familiarise you with the Ship of the bygone times, and its present-day version that represents the travels and battles that have made the Kalmar into a legend.