The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable attractions in the U.S., and since the 19th century it is the first welcome symbol for visitors, immigrants and citizens when entering New York’s harbor. Travelers from all around the world go every day to get a close glimpse of this Memorial Monument with its significant green color while visiting New York. It is not a surprise that the tickets sell out quickly and need to be ordered months in advance.
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As a gift from France to the U.S. in recognition of friendship, it stands as a symbol of liberty and democracy. The female figure is holding a torch in her raised right hand and a tablet with the adoption date of Independence Day July, 4th 1776 in her left hand.
A crown completes the meaningful character. There are 25 windows in the crown which comprise the jewels beneath the seven rays of the diadem.
Lady Liberty is 305’ feet high in total and there are 354 steps to climb up.
Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi designed the icon with Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. The construction started in September 1875 and after the statue was finished in 1885, it was shipped to New York City in 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates. The pedestal was created by American architect Richard Morris Hunt and built on Bedloe’s Island which is now known as Liberty Island. President Grover Cleveland accepted the gift in the name of America on October 28th, 1886 with his speech “we will not forget that liberty here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected”. More than one million spectators were watching the ceremony with parades and fireworks.
Visitors can find out more about the history at the Liberty Island Museum which is located in the pedestal of the Statue. A free guided audio tour tells how it was conceived, constructed and restored.