“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….” Thus reads ‘The New Colossus’, a sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus to commemorate the famous landmark. Though not its initial intent, the Statue of Liberty quickly became a symbol of immigration and the American Dream as new Americans passed by on their way to Ellis Island.
The Statue of Liberty was donated to the United States by France to commemorate France’s role in the American Revolution. It was dedicated on October 28, 1886, after fifteen years of building. The statue was designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and built in pieces in France before being shipped over in crates. The pedestal was paid for by donations from Americans, while the statue itself was paid for by donations from the French people. It’s modeled on the Goddess Libertas, the Roman Goddess of Freedom and stands 46 meters tall.
Liberty Island was originally named Bedloe’s Island, and was an abandoned military base before construction of the statue. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The pedestal features a museum and great views of New York Harbor. In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the crown was closed to the public. It has since reopened, however, only a limited number of people are allowed up each day. Consequently, tickets to get into the crown need to be reserved several months in advance. Tickets for cruises to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island can be booked through Statue Cruises.
Location: Liberty Island, New York Harbor