Philadelphia December 18, 2017
There’s No Chapel In The World Like This One In Philadelphia
Philadelphia is known for historic buildings and stunning colonial architecture, and there is perhaps no better example than the gorgeous church that still towers high over Old City, where it has impressed visitors and native Philadelphians for well over 300 years.
Christ Church was opened in Philadelphia in 1695, and it played a very important role in the development of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States.
The impressive building's bell tower stands tall above the Old City streets. Until 1810, the 196-foot steeple was the tallest structure in North America.
To this day, Christ Church is still considered one of the most beautiful 18th-century buildings, and anyone who visits will surely see why.
The interior is simple yet elegant, and the history here is impressive. The baptismal font still in use today was the one used to baptize William Penn himself - it was sent over to Philadelphia from All Hallows-by-the-Tower in London.
You'll notice brass plaques on many of the pews - the congregation included 15 signers of the Declaration of Independence, including George Washington.
Just a few blocks away from the church itself is their famous burial ground, where many notable Philadelphians have been laid to rest.
The Burial Ground was founded in 1719, and it is still an active cemetery. It draws over 100,000 visitors every year, and thousands more walk by it every day.
Notable interments at the burial ground include naval hero Commodore William Bainbridge, Civil War General George Cadwalader, Charles Mason (of the Mason-Dixon line) and Declaration of Independence signer Benjamin Rush.
The most famous grave at the site, however, is that of Benjamin Franklin. Visitors pay respect by leaving a penny on his grave, though the tradition has faced some criticism lately for the damage it is doing to the stone.
Christ Church draws nearly 250,000 visitors each year - and you can be one of them.
The Church is open for free tours Monday to Saturday: 12 p.m. - 2 p.m., and Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. In January and February, the Church closes on Mondays and Tuesdays. While the Burial Ground is closed to tours for the winter, you can see many of the graves from the street, and it is worth it to walk by.
Christ Church is located at 20 N American St., Philadelphia, PA 19106, and the Burial Ground is just a few blocks away, at N 5th St. and Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19106.
After you visit Christ Church, be sure to walk through Old City and take in the history and beauty. Nearby, you can even find
America’s Oldest Street, Elfreth’s Alley – which is absolutely breathtaking during the holiday season.