Philadelphia, PA, USA

Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Like everything else in Philadelphia, Christ Church is strongly connected to the Declaration of Independence.

Its history, however, is much older. The first Church, a wooden one, was built here around 1695 as an Anglican Church. This was rebuilt between 1727 and 1744 when the congregation became too large. The elegant and distinctive tower and steeple was added around 1754 to designs by Robert Smith. It remained the tallest building in the USA until 1810 when Boston’s Park Street Church overtook it.

In the 1770s no less than 15 of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence worshipped at Christ Church. Amongst those who worshipped here were George Washington, John Adams, Absalom Jones (America’s first black priest), Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin.

The church was also the first (and thus the birthplace of the) American Episcopal Church after the church broke away from the Anglican Church in 1785.

The church is still functioning today, although it is also one of Philadelphia’s top tourist attractions.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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