Christ Church, Philadelphia

Christ Church, Philadelphia (must see)

Christ Church in Philadelphia, established in 1695 by the Church of England, quickly became a pivotal religious and historical site. A year later, the congregation erected their first wooden structure, but due to rapid growth, they built a grander temple in the 1720s, the most sumptuous in the Thirteen Colonies.

Christ Church's congregation included 15 signers of the Declaration of Independence, hence it is often called the "Nation's Church". Noteworthy American Revolutionary War leaders like George Washington, Robert Morris, Benjamin Franklin, and Betsy Ross attended this church. Brass plaques mark the pews where they once sat. Washington's pew is #56, Franklin's pew is #70, and Betsy Ross's pew is #12.

Among other things, this church is also celebrated for its stunning Georgian architecture, influenced by Christopher Wren's designs in London. It features a symmetrical facade, arched windows, and a beautifully simple interior characterized by fluted columns and wooden pews. Uniquely, the church has clear windows instead of the traditional stained glass, filling the interior with natural light and views of the surroundings.

Constructed primarily between 1727 and 1744, with its steeple added in 1754, Christ Church stood the tallest building in the future United States for over fifty years. The church underwent significant modifications with a rebuild in 1777 and interior alterations in 1883.

The churchyard is the final resting place of prominent figures such as two signers of the Declaration of Independence, Robert Morris and James Wilson. Christ Church remains a vibrant Episcopal parish and a National Historic Landmark, attracting over 250,000 visitors annually. On-site docents are always there to answer questions, should you have any.

Tip:
Don't miss the collection of historical artifacts, including the 14th-century baptismal font in which William Penn (founder of the Province of Pennsylvania) was baptized, along with a rare book collection and communion elements crafted in the 1790s.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Philadelphia. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Christ Church on Map

Walking Tours in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Create Your Own Walk in Philadelphia

Create Your Own Walk in Philadelphia

Creating your own self-guided walk in Philadelphia is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Fairmount Park Historical Houses Walking Tour

Fairmount Park Historical Houses Walking Tour

Fairmount Park, Philadelphia's oldest park, established since 1867, is also the city's largest municipal park, sprawling over 2,000 acres adjacent to the banks of the Schuylkill River. The park grew out of the Lemon Hill estate of Henry Pratt, whose land was originally owned by Robert Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

In 1972, the park was placed on the National...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
University of Pennsylvania Walking Tour

University of Pennsylvania Walking Tour

As America's first university, The University of Pennsylvania (aka Penn or Upenn, for short) has a history stretching back to the mid-18th century, closely bound with the city's colonial past and the birth of the United States. Initially, this Ivy League institution emerged as the College of Philadelphia, one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the US Declaration of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Philadelphia Introduction Walking Tour

Philadelphia Introduction Walking Tour

The sixth largest city in the United States and the largest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is a dynamic city heaped with old-world charm and contemporary infrastructure. Notable for its rich history, primarily as the birthplace of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Often called Philly, Philadelphia is also known as the City of Brotherly Love – a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Philadelphia Old City Walking Tour

Philadelphia Old City Walking Tour

King Charles II of England, while seriously indebted to Admiral Sir William Penn, settled his debt in 1681 by granting lands in America to William Penn, the Admiral's Quaker son. A thorn in the King's side, young Penn sailed to America, where he envisioned a utopian society based on tolerance and founded Philadelphia, the "City of Brotherly Love."

The Old City Center, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Franklin Parkway Walking Tour

Franklin Parkway Walking Tour

Benjamin Franklin Parkway is a scenic boulevard running through the cultural heart of Philadelphia. Named for America's Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, this mile-long tree-lined parkway is lined with several notable sights and world-class museums.

At its heart lies Logan Circle, a charming green space centered around a picturesque fountain. This spot can provide a refreshing break on...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Benjamin Franklin's Philadelphia

Benjamin Franklin's Philadelphia

Benjamin Franklin's journey to becoming one of the most influential figures in Revolutionary America began when he, as a teenager, ventured from a Puritan family in Boston to Philadelphia. This city would not only become his home but also a stage for his remarkable life as a writer, printer, philosopher, postmaster, scientist, inventor, statesman, and diplomat. His life epitomizes the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Philadelphia Souvenirs: 13 Unique Gift Ideas from the City of Brotherly Love

Philadelphia Souvenirs: 13 Unique Gift Ideas from the City of Brotherly Love

Looking for a great gift while visiting Philadelphia? Famous for its history, arts and culture, championship sports teams, and award-winning food and drink, Philadelphia is a top-rated shopping destination. Here, you'll find an amazing selection of items to choose from - something uniquely...