Liberty Bell

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The Liberty Bell is a well-known symbol of American Independence.

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526 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Constructed in 1753, the Liberty Bell, previously known as the State House Bell rings in front of Independence Hall as a symbol of American freedom. It should come as no surprise that this quintessential icon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the US. Throughout history, its chimes resonated through the country as a rallying cry for American Independence, the Abolitionist Movement, the Women's Suffrage Movement, and the Civil Rights Movement.

The abode of the bell is the famous Liberty Bell Center lodged in the Independence National Historical Park. In the park, you'll see other historically significant sites as well such as the Independence Hall, and the Benjamin Franklin Museum. So when you plan a tour of this historic attraction, consider exploring the nearby sites as well. One of the best ways to do so is by booking a guided tour that provides the Best of Philadelphia experience!

See The Best Of Philadelphia With Our Guided Tour!

What to Know 

The Liberty Bell Philadelphia was first commissioned in 1751 by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly to hang in the new State House (now Independence Hall) and was manufactured by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London. The bell is inscribed with a biblical quote from Leviticus: "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof." It became a symbol of the abolition of slavery and the Women's Suffrage Movement, and today it is an important part of American history and a popular tourist attraction in Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell has a crack in it, which occurred during its first few years of use and could never be repaired. Despite the crack, the bell continued to be rung on special occasions until it was retired from active use in 1846.


History speaks of a bell housed in the tower of Independence Hall, whose historic chime on July 8, 1776, summoned the people of Philadelphia to hear something that will change the meaning of how they perceived freedom. They were there to see Colonel John Nixon publicly read the Declaration of Independence for the very first time! 

Originally housed in the tower of the Pennsylvania State House (which is now known as the Independence Hall) on Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Liberty Bell bore (and still bears) an everlasting verse from Bible that celebrates autonomy and liberation: "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof" - Leviticus 25:10. 

The bell was ordered by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly in 1751 to pay homage to the Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges for its 50th anniversary. The liberal views of William Penn's 1701 Charter of Privileges regarding the rights of Native Americans and his inclusivity of marginalized groups while legislating laws were lauded by the assembly. What better way to celebrate the anniversary of William Penn's 1701 Charter of Privileges than with a bell whose chimes "proclaim liberty"?

The ringing of the Liberty Bell went on to resonate throughout America after the American Revolutionary War when abolitionists embraced it as an emblem in their efforts to end the practice of slavery. 

The Abolitionists also renamed the bell from "State House Bell" to "Liberty Bell" in reference to its inscribed Bible verse. This legendary name was first recorded in a poem entitled "The Liberty Bell" published in a Boston abolitionist leaflet. The bell's iconic status shot up when it was illustrated in the book frontispiece of the 1837 edition of Liberty, printed by the New York Anti-Slavery Society. 

The Leviticus passage following the verse etched on the bell is, "It shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family." This passage strengthened the belief of the Abolitionists that the Bible ordered all bondmen be granted freedom every 50 years. 

After Americans were swept away in a wave of discordance that the Civil War brought, they longed to hold on desperately to harmony. The American flag and the Liberty Bell granted them much-needed peace by acting as symbols of freedom and unity. The bell traveled across the United States beginning in the 1880s to cure the wounds of war and uplift the cause of sovereignty. 

Its replica was constructed in 1915 to encourage women's suffrage, which traveled the land until women were granted the right to vote. After the 19th amendment was endorsed which culminated the movement for women's suffrage, the bell was carried to be housed and chimed as a celebration, in the Independence Hall on September 35, 1920. Even today, marginalized groups visit this iconic symbol to proclaim their call for freedom.

How to Get There

The Liberty Bell Center that houses the Liberty Bell is nestled at 526 Market St, Philadelphia. You can locate the center's entrance near the corner of 6th and Market Streets. The southeast corner will direct you toward the Presidents’ House site, where the presidents George Washington and John Adams resided during their presidential terms. This historic site is the antecedent to the White House, so it's worth stopping by. Straight to the side, you'll see signs leading you to the security screening queue for the Liberty Bell Center. No tickets are required to enter the center. After your tour, do stop by the Independence Visitor Center located nearby to see a replica of the Liberty Bell!

Best Time to Visit

As the Liberty Bell Center is open year-round except on the 25th of December, you can visit it anytime. Summer offers extended hours, so you might want to visit the center first thing in the morning because it tends to get overcrowded as the day progresses. Be sure to get there as early as you can to avoid waiting in the exceedingly long security screening queues. It's recommended that you get there at least 20 minutes before the center opens at 9:00 a.m.


Come down to the Liberty Bell Center and proclaim your call to liberation. See the iconic bell and read its famous inscription out loud. You'll find other historic exhibits in this building as well ranging from x-rays of the bell's crack, cultural artifacts, video illustrations, photos, and more that will enlighten you about the history of the Bell Center!


The Liberty Bell is housed in the Liberty Center, resonating with a powerful message of liberty. The bell is inscribed with a quote from Leviticus 25:10, which reads, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." This phrase was chosen by the bell's inventors as a symbol of freedom and equality. Another peculiar thing you'll notice on the bell is the quote, "By Order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania for the State House in Philada." The quotation itself isn't peculiar but the spelling of Pennsylvania before it was altered. 

The bell bears a prominent crack, believed to have been the result of 90 years of hard use. In 1846, metal workers were hired to repair the crack before George Washington's birthday. They used a technique known as "stop drilling" which opened up the thin gap to prevent it from expanding even more. However, another fissure in the bell rendered it unringable.

The words "Pass and Stow / Philada / MDCCLIII" centered on the bell is a nod to John Pass and John Stow, who melted and recast the Liberty Bell when it cracked on its trial ring in 1751. Other exhibits in the Liberty Bell Center include video demonstrations, old pictures, x-rays of the famous crack, various artifacts of historic significance, and more that will make you step into a time capsule to see what it was like before people knew the meaning of liberty!