The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture of Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, on Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor, New York City, USA.
The Statue of Liberty was conceived as a gift to the people of the United States as a memorial of their independence from the people of France. The French sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi arrived in America in 1871 with the proposals and started talks with the US government. The Bedloe’s Island near the New York harbour was selected as the site for the proposed project and Bartholdi spent the next few years trying to build public support on both sides on the Atlantic for the statue.
The Statue of Liberty was based on two female figures prominent in the history of the United States, Columbia – the embodiment of America and Libertas, the Roman Goddess of freedom. In the final design, Liberty was shown as a female figure styled in a neoclassical way, wearing a Roman gown and cloak and holding a torch in her hand. A crown was placed on the head of the figure with seven rays symbolizing the seven rays of the sun, seven seas and seven continents. The statue would have a tabula ansata in her other hand, representing the book of law and engraved with the date ‘JULY IV MDCCLXXVI’ signifying the date of independence of the United States of America. It was then planned to be called ‘Liberty enlightening the world’.
The construction started in 1875 with a Franco-American organization set up to fund the project. Funds were raised from all the sections of the French society and the general response of the French public towards the project remained generally positive. More than 90 tonnes of copper was used to build the statue and much of it was donated by industrialist Eugène Secrétan. On the American side, funds were raised to build the platform on which the statue was to be placed. On 17 June 1885, a steamer carrying the disassembled statue arrived in New York. Finally after one year of work, on 28 October 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated to the people of America by the then US President Grover Cleveland.
At the Liberty islands, you can do the following –
- Visit the Pedestal: One needs to book a visit to the Pedestal at the Battery Park via Statue Cruises. The entrance to the pedestal is located directly behind the Statue of Liberty in the white tent.
- Visit the Crown: For details click here.
- Park Ranger Tours: Its a 45 minutes unique tour under the guidance of a Park Ranger who will explain the conception, construction, and restoration of one of the statue. Additionally, one can also learn about island land history and the New York harbour environs.
|Days||All Year Round except 25 Dec|
|Liberty State Park Entrance||Free but needs a ferry ride|
|Crown Tickets||Additional $ 3|
|Includes Museum and Pedestal|
|Ferry Tickets||Adults||$ 13|
|Seniors Citizens (62+ years)||$ 10|
|Child (4 to 12 years)||$ 5|
|Child (< 3 years)||Free|
|Ferry Timing||First Ferry||8:30 AM|
|Last Ferry to Island||4:30 PM|
|Closing Ferry back||6:30 PM|
|Audio Guides||Cost||$ 4 / person|
|Languages||Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish|
|Special kid guides also available|
|Reach||Bus||M5, M15 and M20 stop at South Ferry|
|Subway||4/5 stops at Bowling Green|
|R stops at Whitehall Street|
|1 stops at the South Ferry Station|
- Ferry tickets
- Strollers are not allowed on the Promenade or Observatory Tours.
- Museum/Pedestal Tickets are free (with ferry ticket purchase).
Reference: Wikipedia, About.com
Pic Courtesy - www.mentalfloss.com