I had the chance to visit the Statue of Liberty in Spring 2008 on my first ever trip to New York (and the USA). It’s an imposing sight, recognised by millions around the world. We took a boat to the National Monument island and had made advance reservations (as the number of people allowed access to the monument is restricted) so were allowed to climb the Monument pedestal. Since visiting a certain number of visitors a day are allowed the climb the statue (around 240 a day).
The Statue was made in Paris by the French sculptor Bartholdi, in collaboration with Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel tower fame), and was given as a gift from France in 1886 to celebrate American Independence. It is located next to Ellis island where historically migrants entered New York (and the United States) and was often the first thing that would be spotted as they approached the mainland.
As the UNESCO website states:
“The Statue of Liberty is a masterpiece of the human creative spirit. Its construction in the studios of Bartholdi in Paris represents one of the greatest technical exploits of the 19th century. It welcomed immigrants at the entrance to New York harbour, and so it is directly and materially associated with an event of outstanding universal significance: the populating of the United States, the melting pot of disparate peoples in the second half of the 19th century. The fact that the statue, whose funds were raised by international subscription, was executed in Europe, by a French sculptor, strengthens the symbolic interest of this world-renowned work.”
We were lucky on this visit as the weather was glorious and I managed to take some really colourful shots of the statue:
Inside, it’s a little bit different:
Some interesting facts about the Statue of Liberty:
- The statue— 46.25 m tall—was the tallest structure in the U.S. when it was built.
- The arm holding the torch measures 14 meters; the index finger, 2.4 m; the nose, nearly 1.5 meters.
- The statue is covered in 300 sheets of coin-thin copper. They were hammered into different shapes and riveted together.
- The statue sways 7.62 cm in the wind; the torch sways 5 12.7 cm).
- Seven rays in the crown represent the Earth’s seven seas.
- (The Light of Liberty – National Geographic)
You can view more images from my trip to the Statue of Liberty (and other New York sights) on Flickr here.