World Travel GuidesStatue of Liberty, USA

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Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous statues in the world. It the most recognisable icon of the United States. It is a statue of a lady holding a torch with seven pointed spikes representing the seven seas. On her other hand is a tablet with the text JULY IV MDCCLXXVI, the date 4 July, 1776, the date of the United States Declaration of Independence. The formal name of the Statue of Liberty is Liberty Enlightening the World (La liberté éclairant le monde).

The Statue of Liberty is 46.5m tall. It stands on a stonework pedestal, which sits atop an eleven-pointed star base. The pedestal and base together add another 46.9m to the overall height. It stands on its own island, Liberty Island, in the mouth of the Hudson River, as one enters New York Harbour, welcoming arriving immigrants, visitors, and returning citizens.

Brief History of Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is a gift of the people of France to the United States in 1886, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the independence of the United States of America. The idea to present a gift to the United States was spearheaded by a French politician by the name of Édouard René Lefèvre de Laboulaye. The statue was sculptored by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, and the internal structure engineered by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who also designed the Eiffel Tower.

Initially Bartholdi had wanted to built a grand statue. A model of it, built in 1870, stands today in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. However, after he visited Egypt, Bartholdi's ambition grew from grand to colossal. To finance such a massive project, a fund raising was held. They even managed to make it a joint effort, with the American people building the base, while the French people provide the statue. The fund raising on the American side was slow going until publisher Joseph Pulitzer, who created the Pulitzer prize, provided visibility to the project in his newspaper, The World.

The French completed building the Statue in July 1884, but at that time, the Americans had not even started work on the pedestal. It only got started on 5 August, 1884, but was stopped through lack of funds. The Statue arrived in New York on 17 June, 1885, and stayed in crates for 11 months while waiting for the pedestal to be completed. After another fund campaign from Joseph Pulitzer, work on the pedestal got started again, and it was finally finished on 22 April, 1886.

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on 28 October, 1886 by President Grover Cleveland. In 1984 the Statue of Liberty was recognised by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.

Visiting the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in Lower New York Harbor, about one mile from Lower Manhattan. You can reach it by ferry. The ferry tickets can be purchased at Castle Clinton in Battery Park. It operates in a loop, visiting Liberty Island, then Ellis Island, where the Ellis Island Immigration Museum is located, and then returning to Battery Park. To reach Battery Park, take the No. 1 subway to South Ferry station, or No. 4 and 5 subway trains to Bowling Green station.

Liberty Island and Ellis Island are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily except December 25. Those arriving on the last ferry can only visit one island. The ferry fees is $12 for adults (13-61), $10 for senior citizen (62+) and $5 for children (4-12). Those wishing to visit the monument needs a "Monument Access" pass which has to be reserved in advance and picked up before boarding the ferry. 3000 passes are issued each day, out of the 15,000 visitors to Liberty Island. The pass is available at no cost with the purchase of the ferry ticket from Statue Cruises. An easy way to get the pass is to purchase a Reserved Ticket and to select the Monument Pass option.

Liberty Island was closed to visitors following the September 11, 2001 attack. It was reopened in December, and is open every day except Christmas Day. The statue itself remains closed to visitors, because of fire regulation contraventions. Visitors to Liberty Island can visit the museum and the statue's ten-storey pedestal. To visit the pedestal, visitors must have a "Monument Access Pass".

Hotels in New York City

Most of the hotels in Statue of Liberty are expensive, if not very expensive! To find which booking site offers your the best rate, use our Research Tool to search and compare prices of rooms.

You really do not have to stay in New York City to visit the Statue of Liberty. An alternative is to stay in New Jersey.

Budget Guesthouses in New York City

Budget accommodation in New York City is not really budget, but is certainly cheaper than hotels. It is recommendable to find your accommodation before arriving, so that you don't waste precious time trying to find a place to stay - and discovering that the hostels within your budget are all fully booked.

Climate in New York City

Highest average temperature is in July and August (24°C) while lowest is in January and February (0°C). Rainfall is evenly spread out through the year averaging between 8-11 cm per month, with the heaviest in May, July and November (11 cm each).

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