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    Freedom Trail Boston: tour through the stages of American history

    Who I am
    Joel Fulleda
    @joelfulleda
    SOURCES CONSULTED:

    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    Boston is one of the symbol cities of US history and the Freedom Trail constitutes its most authentic soul: it is a path that winds through some of the most important testimonies of the American past: churches, palaces of political power, cemeteries, homes, even ships, which were somehow the scene of decisive events for the history of the War of Independence, a full immersion in the genesis of the nation that will allow you to relive its history and learn a lot about the great desire for freedom that has characterized it since its birth.



    Il Boston Freedom Trail it is certainly one of the main attractions of the city and in this article we will try to provide you with some tips to enjoy it to the fullest, outlining the main stages, detailing an itinerary and illustrating the available visit methods (tour or visit on your own). Have a good trip through history!

    Index

    • How to find the Freedom Trail route?
      • Where does the Freedom Trail begin?
      • How long does it take to go through it all?
      • Freedom Trail Map
    • Freedom Trail Boston: itinerary and stages
    • Boston Freedom Trail Tickets
    • Tours available
    • Indications for overnight stay

    How to find the Freedom Trail route?

    The Freedom Trail plaque

    If you want to walk the Freedom Trail on your own arm yourself with a map (perhaps the one below) and get ready to explore far and wide the beautiful streets oscillating between history and modernity of the city of Boston. Finding the route will be quite easy: just follow the strip of red tiles that unify all the historical attractions.

    Some buildings can be visited, others you will have to be content with seeing them from the outside. At some sites, entry is paid, take a look at the section below dedicated to tickets for more information. The stages of the Freedom Trail are open all year but observe different opening hours, so it is better to organize yourself well so as not to risk being closed (below, next to each historic site, you will find the timetables).



    Where does the Freedom Trail begin?

    My advice is to take the subway and get off at Park Street station, you will be inside the Boston Common, in front of the Park Street Church. Stepping out of the subway, you cannot fail to notice its pointed bell tower in full New England style. The area is also the right one for the departure of organized tours.

    How long does it take to go through it all?

    Il Freedom Trail route extends from Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument, covering a distance of about 4 km and you can walk everything in more or less 3 hours. Obviously you can also choose to make only a part of it, limiting yourself to the most interesting and representative sites. In this case I advise you not to miss at least these:

    • Massachusetts State House
    • Old state house
    • Old South Meeting House
    • Paul Revere House
    • Old North Church

    With a similar route you can easily get by even in less than an hour.

    Freedom Trail Map

    Here you will find a map with all the stops and an interactive map of the Freedom Trail in Boston. You can follow the numbers to make sure you don't miss any stops along the way.

    Freedom Trail Boston: itinerary and stages

    Let's explore the stages of the Freedom Trail one by one:


    • Boston Common: this is the oldest public park in America, used over the centuries for the most disparate uses (including grazing and the encampment of English troops). To date, it does not present great reasons of interest other than the beauty of the park and the very fact of representing the starting point of the Freedom Trail. There you will find a kiosk with all the information on the route and the possibility to book organized tours.
    • Massachusetts State House: the beautiful gold-domed capitol stands out on the top of Beacon Hill and it's impossible not to notice it from Boston Common. It is one of the oldest buildings in Boston (1798) and still senators and government representatives gather there for the daily political activity of the Commonwealth. Admission is free, as are the 40-minute guided tours that will escort you to the main chambers of power in Massachusetts. Hours: 9:00 - 17:00.
    • Park Street Church: this church with its characteristic bell tower of over 66 meters was used as an underground deposit for gunpowder during the war of 1812 and for a series of conferences and shows of historical significance. Hours 9:00 - 16:00.
    • Granary Burying Ground: the historic cemetery that houses the most authoritative figures of the Revolution: here rest Sam Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, James Otis, the family of Benjamin Franklin and the victims of the Boston Massacre. Hours: 10am - 17pm.
    • King’s Chapel & Burying Ground: the first Anglican church was built on this site in 1688, but the chapel visible today dates back to 1754 and, according to many, is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture among churches in North America (inside you can also find a bell made by Paul Revere). The adjacent cemetery is home to some of Boston's oldest graves, including that of a Mayflower passenger (Mary Chilton) and that of Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop. Hours: 10am - 17pm.
    • Benjamin Franklin Statue / Boston Latin School: the Boston Latin School was the first public school in America (even if only for boys); a mosaic marks the spot where this ancient institution once stood, and where one of its most famous pupils, Benjamin Franklin, studied, to whom a memorial statue has been erected.
    • Old Corner Book Store: opened in 1718 as a pharmacy, this building was the real center of American publishing, the nerve center of culture and literature in Boston. This is the oldest commercial building in the city, and when you visit it don't be too bad if you find the Mexican fast food chain Chipotle inside.
    • Old South Meeting House: it is here that on December 16, 1773, 5000 rebel settlers gave birth to the Boston Tea Party, the act of revolt against the English government that led them to dress up as Indians and throw into the sea about 45 tons of tea (if you want to relive the heroic gesta take a trip to the Boston Tea Party & Ship Musuem). Within the site you will also find a museum. Entrance fee: $ 6; opening hours: November-March: 10 am - 16 pm; April - October: 9am - 30pm.
    • Old state house: Built in 1713 to house the colonial government, the Old State House was the center of many key events in the history of the American Revolution, but the most important was certainly the public reading from the balcony in 1776 of the Declaration of Independence. That day the building became the seat of the new government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Inside you will find a very interesting museum and on the second floor the reconstruction of the English Council Chamber, which offers the opportunity to admire this historic room as it appeared in 1760; be sure to sit in the Royal Governor's chair! Cost $ 8,50. Hours: 9 - 17; July-August: 9 - 18.
    • Site of the Boston Massacre: right in front of the Old State House a cobblestone ring recalls the place of the so-called "Boston Massacre", where the British militias fired on citizens, killing 5 of them. The subsequent propaganda campaign made the episode an exemplification of British tyranny, convincing many of the goodness of the revolutionary cause.
    • Faneuil Hall: building built by Peter Faneuil in 1741, which housed the market, but above all so many rallies and speeches of revolt to deserve the nickname "Cradle of Freedom". It was here that the Bostonians coined the slogan "no taxation without representation". Hours: 9 - 17.
    • Paul Revere's house: Paul Revere, sighting the 2 torch lights on the Old North Church, set off at a gallop to warn his compatriots from Lexington of the arrival of the English troops; it is one of the most celebrated episodes of America's patriotic anthems. Revere's house is the oldest in the city (1680) and is still well preserved. I recommend that you visit the interior to get an idea of ​​what it was like to live in a period Boston house. Entrance fee: $ 3,50. Hours: from April 15th to October 31st: 9:30 am - 17:15 pm; from 1st November to 14th April: 9am - 30pm.
    • Old North Church: The oldest church in Boston is also the most visited site on the entire Freedom Trail. It was April 8, 1775 when the sexton Robert Newman lit the two famous lanterns that gave the signal to Paul Revere, warning him of the movements of the English militias towards Concord and Lexington. Guided tours are available for $ 5.
    • Copp’s Hill Burying Ground: another historic cemetery, dating back to 1660, where merchants and artisans of the North End of Boston rest in peace, as well as some illustrious personalities. It was a prime vantage point for the British, who used its scenic location to take a strategic advantage in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Hours: 10am - 17pm.
    • USS Constitution & Museum: launched in 1797, the USS Constitution is the oldest ship in the US Navy, permanently moored at the port of Charlestown. Thanks to 3 battles fought in 1812 it has earned a reputation as an indestructible ship with "steel sides" (Old Ironsides) and a visit to its interior is highly recommended (free guided tours of approximately 30 minutes are organized). Its history is now legendary and you can learn more in the dedicated museum (USS Constitution Museum, $ 5 the entrance fee). If you are interested in taking a nice bay cruise on the legendary USS Constitution take a look at this page.
    • Bunker Hill Monument: a granite obelisk similar to the famous Washington DC monument was erected to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. Climbing the 294 steps of the obelisk you will be able to admire a splendid panorama. Hours: September - June: 9 - 16:30; July - August: 9am - 17pm.

    Boston Freedom Trail Tickets

    Several sites of the Freedom Trail are paid, even if the figures are certainly not prohibitive; however, if you intend to enter many sites it may be worthwhile to buy one of the 2 Boston Passes available, which can also guarantee you entry to many other attractions. To get a better idea of ​​what the city has to offer, take a look at our article on what to see in Boston.



    Tours available

    There are a number of guided tours of the Freedom Trail in Boston, although they are not usually in Spanish. In some cases these are costume staging, in others comfortable tram tours that will drive you along the main stages of the itinerary, or even guided tours designed specifically for photography enthusiasts. Below you will find the various types:

    Photo Tour

    Tour in costume

      Tram tour with option to get on and off

    Indications for overnight stay

    The Freedom Trail extends along several districts of the city, but its core, the area with the greatest concentration of sights, is certainly Downtown. If you want to know more you can take a look at our tips on where to sleep in Boston.

    Find Accommodation in Downtown

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