Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fanueil Hall - the Jewel in the Crown

Faneuil Hall is one of the most important buildings in Boston from the time of the American revolution. It was built already in the early 1740s as a Market and meeting place and funded by the Merchant Peter Faneuil (1700-1743). It is one of the most important stops along the Freedom trail, and is often referred to as the Cradle of Liberty. Together with the Old State House and the Old North Church it is the Jewel of the Crown of US Revolutionary History.

Faneuil Hall, is a stately colonial style red brick building. It burnt down in 1761, and was rebuilt the next year. Todays appearance is from 1809 when the famous American architect Charles Bulfinch great expanded the building.

The golden weather wane on the top of the tower was modeled in 1742 and survived the fire. This sign was of great significance for the local population during the revolutionary period. It has its origin from the family crest of Sir Thomas Gresham, the founder of the London Stock Exchange.

The knowledge of this weather wane was used to determine if people were spies during the Revolution period. Suspected spies would be asked of the identity of the object on the top of Faneuil Hall and if they answered correctly, then they were free; if not, they were convicted as British spies.

Faneuil Hall is located in an area that has continued its long history as a trading centre. Just by you find the high rise buildings of Boston's Financial district where elegantly dressed men and women are keeping the wheels of the Northern New England economic system going. Behind Faneuil Hall you find Quincy Market, where you may enjoy food from all corners of the world. In this area you will also find a great number of shops where you cause distress to your credit cards.

But do visit this place also to reflect on an important piece of US revolutionary history on your walk by the Freedom trail and on the ideas of those that founded the modern United States. Whether you agree on the current American policies or not, they founded a state with focus on religious and political freedom and tolerance, ideals that should be as important today as they were 240 years ago.

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