Statue of Liberty, New York, USA
How to get there
Visitors arrive and depart Liberty Island and Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor, via ferries operated by Statue City Cruises. These ferries leave from two locations: The Battery, at the southern tip of Manhattan in New York City, and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey.
A symbol of New York and the US in general, iconic Statue of Liberty is located in New York City Harbor on Liberty Island. Opened in 1886, it offers tours, museum and panoramic city views.
- Name: Statue of Liberty
- Location: New York City, USA
- Built 1886
- Type of attraction: Architectural/Monument
- Ticket price: From $15
Universal symbol of liberty, this monumental piece of art was designed in France and it was given as a present to the US to mark its 100 years since gaining independence.
In 1865, Édouard de Laboulaye, a Frenchman, proposed that the people of France give the people of the United States a monumental gift.
He was a staunch American patriot who wanted to honor the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence while also celebrating the strong ties between France and the United States of America.
Laboulaye’s proclamation was attended by sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi. Bartholdi, inspired by Laboulaye’s cause, began planning the colossal structure that would become known as Liberty Enlightening the World in the near future.
Symbolism abounds in Bartholdi’s design, from her crown, which symbolizes light, to the tablet, inscribed with the date July 4, 1776, to the broken shackles and chains at her feet, all of which point to the nation’s independence from the British Empire.
It was shipped from France and assembled in 1886 on a pre-made pedestal, where it is greeting visitors ever since. A must see when visiting New York.
The statue is a depiction of Libertas, a Roman goddess of liberty wearing a robe. She raises her torch overhead with her right hand, and in her left she carries a tabula ansata inscribed JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776, written in Roman numerals), the date of the United States’ Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence.
The chains and shackles that once bound her are lying in a tangled heap at her feet, a silent reminder of the recent abolishment of slavery. It became an icon of freedom and the United States after its dedication, which caused many immigrants to consider it a symbol of welcome for people who were arriving by sea.
Bartholdi was greatly inspired by a French law professor and politician, Édouard René de Laboulaye, who is said to have made a political statement in 1865 asserting that the U.S. had a moral obligation to construct a monument to its independence in cooperation with France. Progress was delayed because of the Franco-Prussian War, which started in 1870.
Laboulaye and others suggested that France and Prussia share the costs of erecting the statue and provide the site, and the United States would bear the expense of building the pedestal. The final design for the statue was not fully determined at the time Bartholdi completed the head and the torch-bearing arm. These components were exhibited at international expositions to gain publicity for the project.
The torch-bearing arm was on display at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, and was on display in Madison Square Park in Manhattan from 1876 to 1882. Due to the fact that raising money proved difficult, especially for the Americans, by 1885 the work on the pedestal was under threat due to a lack of funds.
New York World publisher Joseph Pulitzer used a newspaper campaign to raise money for the project, and managed to garner more than 120,000 donors, almost all of whom gave less than a dollar. The statue was built in France, and it was shipped overseas in crates. Once it arrived, it was brought together on the pedestal, which was previously called Bedloe’s Island. A ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony were celebrated after the statue was completed in New York City, with the first president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, officiating.
The statue was under the administration of the Lighthouse Board from 1901 to the time of the formation of the Department of War, and then by the US Army as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, which it has remained under since 1933. As a result, the statue is considered to be a major tourist attraction. In March 2020, the monument was closed for public health reasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It reopened in June of the same year. There is no public access to the balcony around the torch, which has been off limits since 1916.
Interesting facts about Statue of Liberty
Here are some interesting facts about this world famous attraction:
- It was used as a lighthouse in the past. The Statue of Liberty was originally intended to serve as a lighthouse for the first 16 years of its life. The initial plan called for lights to be installed inside Liberty’s crown, but safety officials were concerned that they may blind passing ships if they were any brighter.
The torch was what actually shed light, though. The Statue of Liberty was the first lighthouse to be illuminated by electricity, using steam from an adjacent power station. Prior to this, kerosene lamps were used. Unfortunately, the statue’s lighthouse functions were discontinued in 1902 due to the lack of an amplifying lens in the torch.
- It has suffered 600 lightning strikes so far!
- The spiked hat represents seven continents and seven oceans. Yes, each of the seven prongs on her crown is meant to stand in for one of the world’s seven oceans as well as one of its seven continents. It is said that this exemplifies the all-encompassing principle of liberty. It’s not just about the fashion!
- The Statue of Liberty became the symbol of immigration during the second half of the 19th century, as over nine million immigrants came to the United States with the statue often being the first thing they saw when arriving by boat.