Almost from its founding by William Penn in 1682, Philadelphia
has occupied a prominent position in America's history and
culture. Much of America's heritage from the Colonial, Revolutionary
and Federal periods is preserved in Philadelphia. Just before
the American Revolutionary War, Philadelphia had grown to become
the largest city and busiest port in the colonies. Philadelphia
hosted the first Constitutional Convention and served as the
nation's capital until 1800.
Today, Philadelphia is the second largest city on the East
Coast and the fifth-largest city in the country. Historic sites
include Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Franklin Court,
Head House Square and many others.
Beyond its historical significance, Philadelphia offers dozens
of museums, theaters, and other cultural attractions. The city
is often called a restaurant mecca because of the large variety
of cuisines at almost every price range. While Philadelphia
offers all the advantages of a large city, it also has a small-town
feel because of its varied and diverse
neighborhoods that offer a broad variety of affordable housing.
Health care is central to the Philadelphia economy with 72
hospitals in the Delaware Valley, 13 nursing schools, two dental
schools, six medical schools (which graduate 22 percent of
all doctors in the country), and many research institutions.
Hospital employees alone make up more than 10 percent of the
Culture and Entertainment
The "City of Brotherly Love" is
rated among the top livable cities in the country. It ranks
high among other
cities for its small-town feel, its availability to New York
and Washington, D.C. and for its wealth of cultural attractions.
America's first zoo is located in Philadelphia, as well as
Fairmount Park, the largest landscaped city park in the world.
Other cultural attractions include the Academy of Music, where
the world class Philadelphia Orchestra performs; numerous theaters
featuring Broadway shows as well as other genres of theater;
and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the country's third-largest
In addition to the 15 historical sites within Independence
National Historic Park, other historical highlights include:
Betsy Ross House; Elfreth's Alley (the oldest residential street
in America); Franklin Court; Physick House; Philadelphia Maritime
Museum; Atwater Kent Museum; Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; United
States Mint; and Fireman's Hall.