Pennsylvania is a key state in forming the United States of America as it was in this state that the Gettysburg Address, the US Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence was created. Pennsylvania played a central role in the newly formed Union and is officially known as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
All legal processes in the state are carried out in the name of the Commonwealth. One of the 13 original founding states of the USA, it was created in 1681 when the British monarch granted land to William Penn. Pennsylvania was the second American state to ratify the US Constitution in 1787, and the Constitution was drafted at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.
With Amish lifestyles, engineering marvels, and famous architectural designs to explore, there are plenty of landmarks in Pennsylvania to tick off your bucket list. Here are our top 20.
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Most Famous Landmark, Pennsylvania
Liberty Bell, Philadelphia
Liberty Bell is one of the most significant and oldest landmarks in Pennsylvania. Casted in 1753, the bell is older than the USA. It served as a symbol of religious tolerance and democracy across the state and country, which is the meaning of the engraved writing on the bell.
The engravement, William Penn’s biblical motto, reads: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”
Since it developed a crack in the 1840s, the bell has not been rung. Despite the efforts of artisans to repair it, the bell developed another crack. Despite that, it remains a big inspiration to civil rights activists. In fact, the Liberty bell is one of the things that Pennsylvania is known for.
This is the most famous monument in Pennsylvania because it represents the entire idea of the American nation: one that is built on liberty and justice. And it’s not just the physicality of it only, it is the new hope and renewed spirit that the engraved quote brings to the heart of most people who visit the site.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Landmarks
Independence Hall is another important Pennsylvania landmark directly linked to the creation of the US. It is referred to as the birthplace of America because it was in the hall that the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 and also where the Constitution was created in 1777.
The building first served as the Pennsylvania State House and, later on, as the headquarters of the Pennsylvania colonial government. The imposing fixture in the Independence National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Thanks to the significant events that happened in the hall, Independence Hall is regarded as one of the most important Pennsylvania historical sites.
Philadelphia Art Museum
Philadelphia Art Museum is an entire world of art exhibitions with over 200,000 collections of European, American, and Asian origination.
The museum houses buildings dedicated to various artworks, including sculptures, paintings, drawings, and photographs. There are over 30,000 textile pieces in one of the buildings in the museum, further expanding its wide range of interests.
Some of the museum’s continental collections date back centuries ago. The museum houses some of the most important sculptures of Auguste Rodin and paintings of America’s Thomas Eakins, to mention but a few.
If you are a lover of artwork, there are plenty of items at this artistic landmark in Pennsylvania that will keep you glued.
Visitors who are familiar with the Rocky movie franchise would easily have an idea of what the Rocky statue means.
The statue was built as a prop for Rocky III, and after the production was completed, star actor,
Sylvester Stallone donated the statue to the city.
It is a stunning landmark, as visitors are often seen surrounding the ‘Balboa’ and making poses for memorable photos.
The statue stands at the bottom of the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This is top on the list if you are looking for Pennsylvania monuments where you can take great pictures.
Located in Fairmount Park, Boathouse Row is a famous venue for rowing regattas.
The Row is home to 15 boat houses occupied by 18 rowing clubs, which are members of the Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia — the oldest amateur athlete association in America.
The boathouse hosts popular regattas, including the Stotesbury Cup Regatta and Independence Day Regatta. These events attract a good number of people, including highly-skilled rowers.
At night, the boathouses sparkle with colorful lights wired around the buildings. Visitors will find it relaxing to take lazy evening walks around the area.
Ben Franklin Bridge
Ben Franklin Bridge is a suspension bridge that stretches across the Delaware river. The bridge, originally named the Delaware Bridge, connects Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey.
Designed by architect Pavil Cret, Benjamin Franklin Bridge was once the longest bridge in the world. It has a road for car passage, pedestrians, a speed rail, and a bikeway. This is an impressive engineering feature.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Landmarks
One of the scenic Pennsylvania landmarks in Pittsburgh is the Duquesne Incline. This used to serve as a transport line for hauling cargo up and down Mount Washington during the 19th century.
Duquesne Incline was later converted into a passenger carrier and was eventually closed with other inclines on Mount Washington. However, the residents of Duquesne Heights intervened by raising funds and reopening Duquesne Incline as a non-profit organization.
Visitors to the incline can stand in the observation deck to watch the incline in motion and also take in the breathtaking view of the Golden Triangle.
Carnegie Museum Of Art
Founded in 1895, the Carnegie Museum of Art is the first contemporary art museum in the US. With an impressive collection of film, video, and contemporary artworks, the museum aims to showcase the “Old Masters of Tomorrow.”
The amount of research, programs, and exhibits contained in the Carnegie Museum of Art makes it one of the most important landmarks in Pennsylvania.
Its founder, Andrew Carnegie, also founded the Museum of Natural History, one of the most esteemed natural history museums in the USA.
Other Famous Landmarks In Pennsylvania
The Appalachian Trail Museum, Gardners
The Appalachian Trail Museum, located in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, sits at the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail.
The museum, which was once a grist mill, is over 200 years old. Items on display in the museum include a trail shelter, photos of expedition activities, and artifacts belonging to hiking pioneers.
Visitors can also enjoy outdoor activities like hiking the Appalachian Trail, the longest hiking path in the world. Get rewarded with a breathtaking view of the park by following the trail to the end.
Harrisburg State Capitol Building, Harrisburg
Harrisburg Pennsylvania State Capitol is the seat of government for the US state of Pennsylvania. The colorful building is one of the many visually striking Pennsylvania landmarks.
The building features paintings and a stained 272-feet glass dome with a 17-feet bronze statue on top. The state capitol building is not only a seat of power but also an enchanting architectural piece.
TunkHannock Creek Viaduct, Nicholson
Constructed about a century ago, the Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct is a prominent Pennsylvania monument. With a length of 2,375, the bridge spans TurnHannock County and was the largest railroad bridge in the world when it was constructed.
While some consider it the ninth wonder of the world, the bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Fallingwater, Mill Run
Fallingwater is a national historical site in Mill Run, PA. It is an architectural wonder designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright for Edgar J. Kaufmann and his wife, Lilianne.
The holiday house is built partly over a waterfall in the crooked forest of Laurel Highlands. The building is a manifestation of Wright’s theories on organic architecture, where humans, architecture, and nature integrate to better each other through the relationship.
Railroad Horseshoe Curve, Altoona
Horseshoe Curve is one of the prominent engineering landmarks in Pennsylvania.
Constructed in 1854, the railroad line is a 2,375 feet three-track curve connected to the Norfolk Southern railway’s Pittsburgh Line in Blair County.
The Impressive Curve was constructed to help reduce the grade to the summit of the Allegheny mountains. It’s an important line connecting east and west.
Civil War Battlefield, Gettysburg
Gettysburg is a significant location in the history of America. This historical site in Pennsylvania was where the defining battle of Gettysburg happened during the four-year-long American Civil War.
The Battle of Gettysburg, which lasted between July 1, 1961 — July 3, 1963, is said to be the deadliest battle of the Civil War. So it was important to preserve history and keep an accurate account of what occurred in Gettysburg during that time.
Nothing is more enriching than seeing authentic exhibits and reading true stories of significant events such as the American Civil War. Hence The Gettysburg Museum of The American Civil War was established.
The Gettysburg Museum of The America Civil War, located in Gettysburg National Military Park, houses an extensive collection of relics and items connected to the Civil War. The museum offers either an audio tour or a guided tour organized by a battlefield expert.