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THE FREEDOM TRAIL

Snaking through 2.5 miles (4 km) of city streets, the Freedom Trail is a living link to Boston’s key revolutionary and colonial-era sites. As you walk it, you’ll see history adopt a vibrancy and palpability unparalleled among US cities. Some of Boston’s most special stores, restaurants, and attractions are also located along the Trail.

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NEED TO KNOW

prac_info Start point: Boston Common “T” station: Park St (red/green lines) • Finish point: Charlestown “T” station: Community College (orange line) • www.thefreedomtrail.org

prac_info Park Street Church: 1 Park St; 617 523 3383; www.parkstreet.org

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  • Give your sweet tooth a workout at Mike’s Pastry.
  • Maps of the trail are available at the Boston Common Visitor Center, or at the Boston National Park headquarters at Faneuil Hall, where free, rangerled walking tours are offered by the National Park Service.
  • Most of the trail is indicated in red paint with a few sections in red brick.

1. Massachusetts State House

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Boston architect Charles Bulfinch’s pièce de résistance, the “new” State House (completed in 1798) is one of the city’s most distinctive buildings (see Massachusetts State House).

2. Park Street Church

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Founded by a small group of Christians disenchanted with their Unitarian-leaning congregation, Park Street Church was dedicated in 1810.

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The historical Park Street Church

3. Old Granary Burying Ground

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A veritable who’s-who of revolutionary history fertilizes this plot next to Park Street Church (see Old Granary Burying Ground). One of its most venerable residents is Samuel Adams.

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An important part of Boston’s history, Old Granary Burying Ground

4. King’s Chapel

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The current granite building dates from around 1749, although the chapel was originally founded in 1686 by King James II as an outpost of the Anglican Church (see King’s Chapel). Don’t miss the burying ground next door, which shelters Massachusetts’ first Governor, John Winthrop.

5. Old South Meeting House

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Boston’s Old South Meeting House was, to the colonial era, a crucible for free-speech debates and protests against taxation.

6. Old State House

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Built in 1713, this handsome colonial building was the headquarters of the colonial legislature and the Royal Governor. The Declaration of Independence was first read from its balcony (see Old State House).

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Dignified interior of Old State House

7. Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market

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Known as the “Cradle of Liberty,” Faneuil Hall has played host to many a revolutionary meeting in its time. Neighboring Quincy Market, built in the early 1800s, once housed Boston’s wholesale food distribution (see Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market).

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Facade of the iconic Quincy Market

8. Paul Revere House

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In North Square, the Paul Revere House is Boston’s oldest private residence. Its principal owner (see Paul Revere) was well regarded locally as a metalsmith prior to his history-changing ride.

9. Old North Church

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This church has a pivotal place in revolutionary history (see Old North Church). Prior to his midnight ride, Revere (see Paul) ordered Robert Newman to hang one or two lamps in the belfry to indicate, respectively, whether the British were approaching by land or via the Charles River.

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The ornate pulpit of the Old North Church

10. Copp’s Hill Burying Ground

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With headstones dating from the 17th century, Copp’s Hill is a must for history buffs. It was named after William Copp, a farmer who sold the land to the church.

AN HOUR OF FREEDOM

For visitors tight on time, consider this condensed trail. Head up Tremont Street from Park Street “T” station, stopping to visit the Old Granary Burying Ground. At the corner of Tremont and School streets – site of King’s Chapel – turn right onto School and continue to Washington Street and the Old South Meeting House. Turn left on Washington to the Old State House then finish up at Faneuil Hall nearby on Congress Street.

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