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Statue Of Liberty
inetwr1ter @ 10/ 05/ 2010

The Statue of Liberty is the most recognizable and most visited landmark in the United States. The colossal sculpture of the Libertas, the Roman Goddess of Freedom bearing a torch and tabula ansata featuring inscription of the date of the American Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) is designated as U. S. National Monument and UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the most famous monuments in the world and probably the most recognizable symbol of freedom is located on the Liberty Island in New York Harbor and can be reached by a ferry that leaves from the Battery Park in Lower Manhattan every 30 minutes.

The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States from the people of France. It was designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi in 1884 and shipped overseas in crates one year later. However, the right hand bearing the torch has been completed and exhibited at Centennial International Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while the statue's head which is said to be modeled after the Bartholdi's mother Charlotte has been exhibited at the 1878 Paris World's Fair (Exposition Universelle). The neoclassical design of the statue was inspired by the Roman mythology and represents the Liberty, the Roman goddess of freedom which was very popular  symbol of the republican ideals in the 18th and 19th century. A skeleton for the statue was created by French engineer Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower in Paris). The pedestal for the statue was built in the United States by American architect Richard Morris Hunt in 1886 and the Statue of Liberty was finally dedicated in October 28, 1886.

The site of the Statue of Liberty – the Liberty Island at the time called the Bedloe's Island (renamed in 1933) was proposed by the sculptor himself. The statue faces Southeast symmetrically to the Fort Wood so that everyone arriving in New York on the sea could see the Statue of Liberty while entering the harbor. The Statue has been closed to the public on two occasions, first between 1982 and 1986 due to restoration works and for the second time after the September 11 attacks in 2001. The pedestal reopened in 2004 and the statue only in 2009 but visitors need to make reservations to be allowed to climb to the top of the pedestal or the crown of the Statue of Liberty. The balcony around the torch is closed to the public for safety reasons since 1916.

The Liberty Island is open daily except for December 25. The first ferry departs for Liberty Island at 8:30 AM, while the last boat leaves the Liberty Island at 6:00 PM. The ferry ticket for the Liberty Islands also includes a visit of the Ellis Island but visitors departing mainland after 2:00 PM are able to visit either Liberty Island or Ellis Island.

What were the WOW moments you experienced?
The trip to the Liberty Island is one of the must-do's if visiting the New York City. It provides opportunity to admire and explore the Statue of Liberty as well as offers a beautiful panoramic view of Manhattan and the New York Harbor.
United States, New York, Statue of Liberty
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