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Located in Pennsylvania between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, the city of Philadelphia was founded in 1682 as a Quaker settlement by William Penn. It later became became a city in 1701 and was laid out in a grid of rectangles, making it the first planned city in America. Its name is taken from the Greek for "city of brotherly love" and it is steeped in the history of the United States. Philadelphia is now currently one of the nation's most important centers for business, medicine, education, and culture.

Philadelphia Skyline at Night
Philadelphia Skyline at Night

Philadelphia attracted many immigrants and settlers and eventually became the financial capital of the colonies, as well as a major port city and a center of science. It also became the political center of the 13 colonies' rebellion during the Revolutionary War and the meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774. The Second Continental Congress met in the Pennsylvania State House from 1775 to 1783, and it was here that delegates signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Now known as Independence Hall, the Pennsylvania State House was also the place of the drafting of the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitutional Convention drafted a guiding blueprint for the nation's federal government here.

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The city became home to the nation's first bank, stock exchange, hospital, zoo, and free library, and its open spaces gradually disappeared as it evolved into an industrial center of almost two million people. It enjoyed a short period of prosperity during World War II, but the twentieth century saw the decline of its manufacturing centers, and the issues of poverty and urban decay rose to the forefront. The 1960's brought soaring crime and unemployment, and racial riots broke out throughout much of the city. In 1983, Philadelphia's first black mayor, W. Wilson Goode, started a city wide cleanup and restoration campaign which still continues today.

Philadelphia boasts beautifully restored neighborhoods as well as world-class restaurants, museums and colleges and universities, but much of the city still suffers from poverty, poor schools, and high unemployment. Visitors can take a walking tour of the city's historical sights beginning at Penn's Landing or enjoy 100 miles of jogging and cycling paths along the Schuylkill River. Philadelphia is also known for its professional sports teams and takes pride in its Eagles football team, Phillies baseball team, Flyers hockey team, and 76ers basketball team. The city is easily reachable by car, bus, train, or air to Philadelphia International Airport.

Downtown Philadelphia Street Map

downtown Philadelphia street map

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The center of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is located at about 39.95 degrees North (latitude) and 75.17 degrees West (longitude). The city occupies approximately 135.1 square miles in land area; according to the 2010 census, Philadelphia's population was 1,526,006.

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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In-depth Philadelphia information and news can be found on these regional Philadelphia Libraries and Philadelphia Newspapers pages, respectively.  Visitors to Philadelphia will find this Philadelphia Travel and Tourism website useful.
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Map of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania