"Philly" Philadelphia by bwk_michael

Philadelphia Travel Guide: 2,214 reviews and 4,547 photos

All About Philly

Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and the sixth most populous city in the United States. It is the 5th largest metropolitan area by population in the United States, and the fourth largest consumer media market as ranked by the Neilsen Media Research Co. It is the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous.
Its name literally means "the City of Brotherly Love" (from Greek: Φιλαδέλφεια), Modern Greek: "brotherly love" from philos "love" and adelphos "brother"), though many people think this is just a nickname. Tourists and media often informally call the city "Philly." The city is recognized as a strong candidate global city.

In 2005, the population of the city proper was estimated to be over 1.4 million,while the Delaware Valley metropolitan area, with a population of 5.8 million, was the fifth-largest in the United States. A commercial, educational, and cultural center, the city was once the second-largest in the British Empire,(after London) and the social and geographical center of the original 13 American colonies. During the 18th century, it eclipsed New York City in political and social importance, with Benjamin Franklin taking a large role in Philadelphia's early rise to prominence. It was in this city that some of the ideas, and subsequent actions, gave birth to the American Revolution and American independence, making Philadelphia a centerpiece of early American history. It was the most populous city of the young United States and served as the the nation's first capital in the 1790s.


The history of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, goes back to 1682, when the city was founded by William Penn.

Before then, the area was inhabited by the Lenape (Delaware) Indians and Swedish settlers who arrived in the area in the early 1600s. Philadelphia quickly grew into an important colonial city and during the American Revolution was the site of the First and Second Continental Congresses. After the Revolution the city was chosen to be the temporary capital of the United States. At the beginning of the 19th century, the federal and state governments left Philadelphia, but the city remained the cultural and financial center of the country. Philadelphia became one of the first U.S. industrial centers and the city contained a variety of industries, the largest being textiles.

After the American Civil War Philadelphia's government was controlled by a corrupt Republican political machine and by the beginning of the 20th Century Philadelphia was described as "corrupt and contented." Various reform efforts slowly changed city government with the most significant in 1950 where a new city charter strengthened the position of mayor and weakened the Philadelphia City Council. At the same time Philadelphia moved its support from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party which has since created a strong Democratic organization. The city began a population decline in the 1950s as mostly white and middle class families left for the suburbs. Many of Philadelphia's houses were in poor condition and lacked proper facilities, and gang and mafia warfare plagued the city. Revitalization and gentrification of certain neighborhoods started bringing people back to the city. Promotions and incentives in the 1990s and the early 21st century have improved the city's image and created a condominium boom in Center City and the surrounding areas that has slowed the population decline


Philadelphia contains many national historical sites that relate to the founding of the United States. Independence National Historical Park is the center of these historical landmarks. Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the Liberty Bell are the city's most famous attractions. Other historic sites include homes for Edgar Allan Poe and Betsy Ross and early government buildings like the First and Second Banks of the United States.

Philadelphia's major science museums include the Franklin Institute, which contains the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, the Academy of Natural Sciences, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. History museums include the National Constitution Center, the Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia History, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in the state of Pennsylvania and The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania and Eastern State Penitentiary. Philadelphia is home to the United States' first zoo and hospital.


Philadelphia has a long history of professional sports teams, and is one of thirteen U.S. cities to have all four major sports: the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League of Major League Baseball, and the Philadelphia 76ers in the National Basketball Association. The last major professional sport team to win a championship was the 76ers, which won the NBA Championship in 1983. Due to the length of this streak without winning a sports championship, in 2004 ESPN ranked Philadelphia as number two in its list of The Fifteen Most Tortured Sports Cities. The failure of Philadelphia's major professional sports teams to win championships since that date is sometimes attributed, in jest, to the so-called "Curse of Billy Penn". The Oakland Athletics and Golden State Warriors were originally from Philadelphia.

Philadelphia also is home to professional, semi-professional and elite amateur teams in other sports, including cricket. Philadelphia also hosts major amateur sporting events, including the Penn Relays, Stotesbury Cup, Philadelphia Marathon, and Philadelphia International Championship bicycle race, and the Dad Vail Regatta.

In February 2008, Philadelphia beat off competition many cities, namely St. Louis, to be awarded the 16th Major League Soccer franchise. They will enter the league in 2010 calling Chester Stadium their home (a soccer specific stadium) in Chester, PA.

  • Last visit to Philadelphia: Apr 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (2)

  • VZ-Pam's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2008 at 2:06 PM

    Nice opening page of Philly, where is that ICON locate in Philly?

  • Apr 28, 2008 at 7:44 PM

    Hola, Michael - received your postcard with the Elfreth's Alley - love the red and yellow doors and windows ;-)). Hope it's as sunny in Germany! Cheers, Marina


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