Statue of Liberty
New York, NY 10004, USA
|⏰ Opening Hours
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
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What is Statue of Liberty?
The Statue of Liberty, also known as Lady Liberty, stands as a colossal beacon of freedom on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. This iconic statue is not merely a symbol of New York City, but a representation of liberty, democracy, and hope recognized worldwide. As a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States, the statue has been greeting visitors, immigrants, and Americans returning home since its dedication in 1886.
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The statue itself depicts a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left arm carries a tabula ansata inscribed with the date of the American Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet, signifying the end of oppression and slavery. For many, the Statue of Liberty is a profound symbol of the American Dream and the pursuit of freedom.
History of Statue of Liberty
The conception of the Statue of Liberty began around 1865, when French political thinker Édouard René de Laboulaye suggested that France should give a statue representing liberty as a gift to the United States to commemorate the Centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. Sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design the statue, with engineering support from Gustave Eiffel – yes, the same gentleman associated with the Eiffel Tower.
The construction of the statue was completed in France in July 1884, and the massive structure was then disassembled and shipped to New York City. The statue's pedestal, designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, was constructed on what was then known as Bedloe's Island. After the pedestal was completed and the statue was reassembled on it, the Statue of Liberty was officially dedicated on October 28, 1886, by President Grover Cleveland.
Over the years, the Statue of Liberty has undergone several renovations and restorations, the most extensive of which was for its centennial celebration in 1986. In 1984, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in 1986, it was restored for its centennial.
Why is Statue of Liberty Important?
The Statue of Liberty is important for a multitude of reasons, primarily as an emblem of freedom and as an inspirational figure to millions. When immigrants sailed into New York Harbor, Lady Liberty often was one of their first glimpses of the United States, symbolizing new opportunities and a welcome into the land of freedom. Her global significance as a symbol of freedom and the American way of life is unparalleled.
Furthermore, the Statue of Liberty stands as an important historical collaboration between France and the United States. It represents a bond between the two countries centered on mutual values such as liberty, freedom, and democracy. The statue also serves as a reminder of the importance of inclusion and the historical significance of America as a melting pot of diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Things to Do & See at Statue of Liberty
When you visit the Statue of Liberty, there are a few must-do activities to ensure you get the full experience. First, you'll likely start your excursion taking a ferry from either Battery Park in New York City or Liberty State Park in New Jersey. During the ride, you'll witness stunning views of the New York skyline and Ellis Island. Once you arrive at Liberty Island, I suggest taking a walk around the base for various angles and photo opportunities of Lady Liberty.
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Visiting the pedestal is also a popular choice, as it provides a closer look at the structure and an indoor observation deck. If you're up for a challenge, reservations to climb the 354 steps to the crown offer a unique perspective from within, and you'll get a glimpse of the intricate interior framework designed by Gustave Eiffel. However, keep in mind that these tickets are extremely limited and must be reserved well in advance.
Don't forget to explore the Statue of Liberty Museum, which opened in May 2019. It features engaging exhibits including the statue's original torch, replaced during the 1986 renovation. Lastly, a ranger-led tour can provide additional insight into the history and significance of this iconic monument, often including details and stories you won't find elsewhere.