The Independence National Historical Park at Market Streets was our first itinerary. We saw the Liberty Bell. The historic bell summoned the people when the longed for Declaration of Independence was read. It stands inside a hall which became the center of America's independence. Walking at the park is like walking in history. Good thing a friendly local gave us a short tour of the park. He also pointed us what museums we should go to next.
Franklin Court is located at the Park so we didn't have to ride anything. You guessed it right, it is the home of Benjamin Franklin. Literally though, it should be the spot where the home of Franklin once stood. The original house did not remain. But, there is what they call a â€˜ghost structure' to provide people a feel and view of what the place looks like before. It has an underground museum that houses various paintings and memorabilia. We also went to the nearby US Postal Service Museum which has very interesting collections. I particularly enjoyed the printing and bindery in the 18th century style demonstration along this notable tourist building along Market Street.
The next day, we went to the Franklin Institute Science Museum. I heard it is the most visited museum in Philadelphia. Of course, there is this section with Benjamin Franklin's statue. That section is solely dedicated to him. It's something that you would like to see if you want to know more of the great man. I love the hands-on exhibits on the second sectionof the museum. I think it is a great hit to kids. The Fels Planetarium section would really give you a feel of what it is like studying the planets and the whole universe at that.
After the Science, we went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The 1870 house has this extensive collection of 225,000 masterpieces in its 200 galleries. When I heard the guide say that, I just know we're in for a ride. The collections are really jaw-dropping. When they said that they have art, they really have art. I even saw magnificent sculptures. The guide also pointed out that the architecture of the whole building is Greco-Roman inspired. It even has L-shaped wings. We stopped by at the museum's cafeteria for a snack.
The Barnes Foundation on North Latch's Lane was also interesting. The former mansion of Albert Barnes now holds French modern and post-impressionist works. Names that I recall in the collection are Picasso, Cezanne, Matisse and Renoir. The foundation also has jewelry and ceramics collection that are equally magnificent.
Our last day in Philadelphia was capped by a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo in the morning. I couldn't believe it when the guide said that the zoo opened in 1874. I mean, with all of its very modern facilities, you would think it started only in the 1990s. The zoo has extensive collections of rare animals and birds. The group loves the Victorian gardens best. We also learned a lot at its Rare Animal Conservation Center.
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