Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, the Birthplace of America, or simply Philly - the city has numerous nicknames that reflect its unique character and rich history. Founded in 1682, Philly is the sixth most populous city in the United States. Here are some neat facts about Philly you’ll never forget:
When you think of Philadelphia, ‘art’ may not be the first word that comes to mind. But maybe it should. More impressionist paintings live in Philly than any other city in the world besides Paris. So if you’re looking to see masterpieces by Monet, Cezanne, Matisse and Renoir, it’s hard to beat a visit to Philadelphia.
Caption: Monet’s The Japanese Footbridge is part of the permanent collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Philly is no newcomer to the world of fine art either. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts was founded all the way back in 1805 making it the first and oldest art museum and art school in the United States.
Plus, if you want to experience Philly’s vibrant art scene, you don’t even have to go indoors. The city is decorated with over 2000 outdoor murals. That’s why some call Philly the “mural capital of the U.S.”
Major Center of Technology and Innovation
As you can see, Philadelphia has quite an imagination. The city’s unique ingenuity also manifests itself in a vibrant history of advanced technology and innovation.
Philly is the home of the first ever air conditioned building: the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. This forward thinking city was also the home of ENIAC, the world’s first electronic general purpose computer.
Caption: ENIAC ('Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer') was 150 feet wide with 20 banks of flashing lights.
Formally dedicated on February 15, 1946, ENIAC was dubbed the "Giant Brain" for its intimidating size and speed in calculation. It could compute one thousand times faster than predecessor electro-mechanical machines.
ENIAC was housed at the University of Pennsylvania, which also happens to be the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Naturally, the country’s first library can also be found at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s reputation as a center of learning earned it the nickname “the Athens of America.”
Home of Health and Wellness
With such a strong commitment to education, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear Philadelphia has trained more than a few doctors over the years. One out of every six doctors in the U.S. actually completes their advanced medical schooling in Philly.
As you may have guessed, this medical prowess stretches back for many generations. Ben Franklin himself cofounded the nation’s first hospital in Philadelphia over two hundred fifty years ago.
Caption: Benjamin Franklin called Philadelphia home for most of his life, and cofounded the nation’s first hospital as well as its first library both of which are still in operation.
Philly’s Mütter Museum commemorates past and present contributions to health sciences with a truly astounding collection of medical oddities. Visiting the Mütter Museum, you can view slices of a human face, a book bound by human skin, and even pieces of Albert Einstein’s brain preserved in glass.
Fun Times in Philly
These details only begin to scratch the surface of what the City of Brotherly Love has to offer. The infographic below has even more fun Philly facts about the city where the Declaration of Independence was signed!