State of Pennsylvania: Attractions, History, Interesting Facts, Cities

The state of Pennsylvania is like a puzzle made up of bright fragments. Large bustling metropolises and quiet villages, preserving centuries-old traditions, are united into a single whole here. And each of these pieces is unique in its own way, reflecting a distinct element of life and telling its own story. Somewhere it’s industrialization marching heavily forward, while in other places, there are endless cornfields and vineyards.

And in Pennsylvania, there are the Amish – a closed community that rejects modern technologies, doesn’t even use modern transportation, and lives according to the norms of the 16th century.

Brief information about the state:

  • Abbreviation: PA
  • Capital: Harrisburg (49,395 inhabitants)
  • State Population: 12,804,123 people (data for 2021, ranks 5th in the USA)
  • Largest City: Philadelphia (1,585,010 people, 5th largest city in America)
  • State Area: 119,283 km² (ranks 33rd in the USA)
  • Official Website: pa.gov

State Attractions: Quakers

The East Coast of the USA has always attracted a lot of interest from tourists. There are many museums, galleries, and exhibition halls here. Of course, all of this is also present in Pennsylvania: Independence Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Music Academy, Carnegie University, and so on. Each of them offers unique exhibits and educational tours, expands the worldview, and provides an opportunity to interact with like-minded people.

For those who love to explore the past, special attention should be paid to the Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia, built in the Neo-Romanesque style and adorned with stained glass windows recognized as works of art. The building not only hosts worship services but also exhibits paintings by local artists, holds lectures, and hosts other cultural events in the city.

An interesting landmark in Philadelphia is the Masonic Temple. In the past, it was a meeting place for the Grand Lodge and other initiates, but today it is a world-famous museum and library containing a collection of valuable books.

But Pennsylvania is not only rich in cultural and historical values. It’s worth mentioning Ohiopyle State Park, located on the banks of the Youghiogheny River. Tourists are offered both hiking trails and extreme rafting descents. The real gem of this place is Cucumber Falls – the water cascades beautifully, providing a stunning backdrop for excellent photos.Lake Erie

Lake Erie, the only port in the state and the northernmost point of Pennsylvania, offers the opportunity not only to relax at resorts but also to dive to many sunken warships left here after the great naval battles for independence from 1812 to 1815.

The beautifully landscaped gardens and parks can be observed in the DuPont Gardens. Here, more than 11,000 species of plants are collected in flower beds and plots, including cacti, water lilies, and orchids.

History of the State:

Giovanni da Verrazzano
Illustration

In 1524, an expedition led by Giovanni da Verrazzano passed along the eastern coast. They made a few entries in their travel journals and moved on. In the early 17th century, the English laid claim to the land, considering it part of the Virginia colony. The Dutch also made claims, viewing the region as one of their trading posts of the West India Company. However, the first European settlement here was founded in 1638 under the Swedish flag.

Power changed hands several times, but in 1664, it was firmly established under the British crown. Fifteen years later, King Charles II granted the territory to William Penn to settle his father’s debt. The new owner founded the refuge colony of “Pennsylvania” for those persecuted for their faith, most of whom were Protestants.

William Penn advocated nonviolence and developed a document for his province equivalent to a constitution based on this principle. Among other postulates, it spoke of the abolition of slavery, and the population quickly grew. The city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, quickly became one of the largest and most important cities in North America.

In 1863, William Penn managed to conclude a peace treaty with the Delaware Indians. Most surprisingly, neither side ever violated it.

But there were other tribes less tolerant of European intrusion. And among the descendants of the settlers were those who did not support the peaceful policy. Therefore, conflicts with indigenous peoples were inevitable. Blood was also shed in Pennsylvania during the War for Independence, during the confrontation between the South and the North.

Years later, a congress was held here, where delegates declared July 4, 1776, the independence of the United States, and in 1787, they adopted the first Constitution. On December 12, 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state of the USA.

Interesting facts about the state of Pennsylvania:

1. The name of the state is derived from a Latin phrase, which translates literally into English as “Penn’s Woods.”

2. In addition to English, “Pennsylvania Dutch” is officially recognized as a language in this state.

3. Pennsylvania is a land of “firsts”: the first newspaper was printed and sold here, the first sugar refinery operated, the first university was established, the first bank was founded, and the first steamship set sail.

4. Skyscrapers are prohibited in Philadelphia. The city’s founders planned it so that no building would exceed the brim of the hat on the statue of William Penn. However, this rule has lost its significance over time.

5. Pennsylvania is a recognized leader in the production of potato chips and pretzels.

6. The state is home to the famous groundhog that predicts the weather.

Major cities:

The American state of Pennsylvania is one of the most densely populated. It’s no wonder that many megacities have formed here:

  • Philadelphia (≈ 1.6 million people)
  • Pittsburgh (299,718 people)
  • Allentown (121,252 people)
  • Erie (93,928 people)
  • Reading (88,041 people)
  • Bethlehem (75,961 people)
  • Scranton (75,925 people)
  • Lancaster (58,981 people)
  • Levittown (51,818 people)
  • Harrisburg (≈ 49,500 people).

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