Pennsylvania – The Keystone State

Pennsylvania is a state in the northeastern United States. Its area is 117.4 thousand square meters. km, 12.6 million people live here (this is the 6th place in the United States in terms of population). It was formed on December 12, 1787, becoming the second state of the United States.

Carrie blast furnaces in Pennsylvania

The name of the state comes from the Latin Penn Sylvania, which means “Land and forests of Penn.” The name of the state was not accidental: in 1681, King Charles II of England presented the lands that are now part of modern Pennsylvania to the young Quaker William Penn. This gift was a gratitude to William’s father, Admiral Penn (and repayment of the king’s debt to him), after whom the colony was named. At first, it was a refuge for Quakers and others persecuted for their faith. The name of the state of Philadelphia is also associated with the name of William Penn. In ancient Greek, this word means “City of Brotherly Love” – ​​it was built by him specifically for Protestants.

The capital of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg, located in the southeast of the state. Philadelphia, the largest city in the state and the fifth largest in the United States, is located 170 km west of it. The second largest city in Pennsylvania is located in the east of the state – this is Pittsburgh. Perhaps Pittsburgh would not have become such a large city if mineral deposits had not been found in the vicinity of the city. Today it is not only a major center for their extraction, but also a developing industrial city. Due to its coal deposits, Pennsylvania is also called a coal state.

Pennsylvania is in many ways the first state in the US. And although historically it turned out to be the second, it was here that the first newspaper was published, the first sugar factory was built, the first bank, the first university, the first social hospital were opened, the first steamboat was launched. Pennsylvania was the first among the North American states to pass a law on the emancipation of slaves – in 1790. Since then, the state motto is Virtue, Liberty and Independence (Dignity, Liberty and Independence), and its unofficial name is the “State of Independence.”

Nature and climate of the state

The climate of Pennsylvania is so diverse that when traveling through it, it seems as if vast distances are covered. This is due to the peculiarities of the relief: the height difference in Pennsylvania is about a kilometer – from the southwest to the northeast, the Appalachian Mountains pass through the territory of the state, and in the northwest is the Allegheny Plateau. The Delaware, Suskeganna, and Allegany rivers flow in the valleys, and the state also owns part of the coast of Lake Erie.

It has a temperate continental climate with hot, humid summers and fairly cool winters. In the southeast, oceanic subtropics appear, while in the mountainous regions the climate is harsher and snowfalls are not uncommon in winter.

The average annual air temperature in Pennsylvania is kept at around +10 ° C, which is not so bad for a territory located close to the Atlantic Ocean. For local residents, tornadoes are commonplace, most often occurring in spring and summer. About ten tornadoes can happen a year.

Like most US states, Pennsylvania has its own symbols: the Pennsylvania firefly, the white-tailed Virginian deer, the collared hazel grouse, the palia fish or American char, the Great Dane, as well as the evergreen coniferous Canadian hemlock tree and mountain laurel flower. The state colors are blue and gold, the dance is polka, the foods are milk and sugar cookies.

The world-famous symbol of Pennsylvania is the famous groundhog Phil from the city of Punxsutawney, who annually predicts the weather on February 2.

Entertainment and attractions in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is considered the cultural mecca of the US East Coast. There are many world-class museums here, and its citizens are a mixture of cultures, ethnic groups, religions and customs. Most of the cultural values ​​and attractions of the state are located in large cities – Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. So, in Pittsburgh there is the famous Carnegie Institute, on the territory of which the Museum of Natural Science, the Art Museum and the library are located. There are also two universities in the city.

We must not forget about one of the oldest cities in the United States – Philadelphia. This city is directly connected with the most important events in the history of the country at the moments of its formation: it was here that the Declaration of Independence and the first US Constitution were adopted. Philadelphia has been the capital of the United States twice.

Top attractions in Philadelphia:

  • Independence Hall commemorating the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776,
  • Congress Hall, where the famous Bill of Rights was signed,
  • Franklin Court Museum – home and office of Benjamin Franklin,
  • municipality building of the late 19th century,
  • Museum Of Fine Arts,
  • The Academy of Music, where world stars Chaliapin and Caruso once performed,
  • houses of Edgar Allan Poe and Betsy Ross,
  • the famous Fairmont Park (37 sq. km) is one of the largest parks in the world, on the territory of which, in addition to green spaces, there are a large number of cultural and public buildings.

It is illegal to build skyscrapers in Philadelphia. Here they prefer to live in mansions – hence the saying “Like in the best houses in Philadelphia.” And the reason for this was an old rule: no building can officially be higher than the tower of William Penn, more precisely, higher than the hat on his statue.

In the vicinity of Philadelphia, you can visit the historic village of Old Bedford Village, which has 40 buildings from the era of the development of the region by Europeans. Nearby are the city of Intercourse with no less picturesque surroundings of past centuries, the old Lankawanna coal mine (76 m deep) turned into a museum and Valley Forge National Historical Park – one of the shrines of the American Revolution. American history buffs can also visit Gettysburg National Military Park, site of the most important battles of the 1863 Revolutionary War, and Eisenhower National Historical Park, the home and farm of President Dwight D. Eisenhower near Gettysburg Field.

Among the natural attractions of the state, it is worth noting the picturesque waterfalls of Fallingwater, the 80-kilometer Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania up to 300 m deep, formed by the Pine Creek, Point State Park Fontaine, where one of the mainland’s largest rivers, the Ohio, is born at the confluence of the Monongahila and Allegheny rivers., as well as the Pocono and Endless Mountains – 6200 km² of the most beautiful landscapes, where about a hundred species of trees grow alone.

Pennsylvania - The Keystone State