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Statue of Liberty

Overview

The Statue of Liberty, officially known as “Liberty Enlightening the World,” is one of the most prominent symbols of freedom and democracy in the United States. It was a gift from the people of France to the United States, designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal structure was built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886, and has since stood as a beacon of liberty in New York Harbor.

Location

The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island, in the Upper New York Bay. The island and the statue are accessible by ferry from Battery Park in New York City and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. The statue’s stunning visage can also be viewed from numerous points around New York City, including the Staten Island Ferry, the Brooklyn Bridge Park, and various skyscrapers in Manhattan.

Address: Liberty Island, New York, NY 10004, United States

Website

For more information about the Statue of Liberty, including its history, visiting details, and educational resources, visit the National Park Service’s official website: Statue of Liberty National Monument

Opening Hours

The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island are open every day except December 25. The grounds of Liberty Island open at 8:30 AM. The exact closing time varies throughout the year, generally aligning with sunset. For the most up-to-date information on hours of operation, it’s advisable to check the [official website](https://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/hours.htm).

Things to do

1. Visit the Statue of Liberty Museum: Opened in 2019, this museum offers visitors a chance to learn about the history, creation, and significance of the Statue of Liberty. The museum features interactive displays, immersive theaters, and a gallery that houses the statue’s original torch.

2. Climb to the Crown: Visitors can climb the 393 steps from the base of the pedestal to the crown. The crown has 25 windows and offers panoramic views of New York Harbor. Note that tickets to the crown must be reserved in advance and are often sold out weeks or even months ahead.

3. Explore Liberty Island: The island itself offers beautiful views and picnic spots. Walking around the island’s perimeter can give visitors a different perspective of the statue and the surrounding skyline.

4. Ferry to Ellis Island: Your ferry ticket also includes a stop at nearby Ellis Island, home to the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. This museum offers a fascinating look into the immigrant experience in the United States.

5. Ranger-Guided Tours: The National Park Service offers free outdoor ranger-guided tours that provide insights into the significance of the Statue of Liberty.

Remember to plan your visit ahead of time, as the popularity of the Statue of Liberty can lead to long lines, particularly during peak tourist season.

Symbolism and Design

The Statue of Liberty stands at a total height of 305 feet (93 meters) from the base to the tip of the torch. The statue itself, from heel to top of the head, measures 151 feet (46 meters). The seven spikes on the statue’s crown represent the seven continents and the seven seas, symbolizing universal liberty.

The statue depicts a robed woman, Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who carries a torch in her right hand and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) inscribed with the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, in her left hand.

A broken chain lies at her feet, which is often interpreted as a symbol of the abolition of slavery. This symbolism is particularly potent as the statue was dedicated a few decades following the end of the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery.

Statue of Liberty’s Restoration

Over the years, the Statue of Liberty has undergone several restorations. The most significant of these occurred between 1984 and 1986. During this time, the statue was closed to the public, and the torch and much of the internal structure were replaced. In 1986, for the statue’s centennial, the newly restored statue was unveiled to the public in a spectacular display of fireworks.

Accessibility

The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island are wheelchair accessible. The National Park Service provides free wheelchair loans on a first-come, first-served basis. However, please note that the statue’s crown and pedestal are not wheelchair accessible. The ferry to Liberty Island is also wheelchair accessible.

Nearby Attractions

While in the area, you might also consider visiting other nearby attractions. Battery Park, where the ferry to Liberty Island departs, is a beautiful spot with gardens, public art, and waterfront views. If you’re interested in financial history, Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange are a short walk away. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which commemorate the tragic events of September 11, 2001, are also nearby and worth a visit.

Tips for Visiting

When planning your visit, keep in mind that security is tight—similar to airport security—and large bags are not allowed on Liberty Island. Consider packing light for your visit. Also, be prepared for variable weather, as much of your time will be spent outdoors. Lastly, try to book your tickets (especially crown access tickets) well in advance as they can sell out, especially during peak tourist season.

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