U.S.A. facts & history in brief
Boston is just over 300 km (200 miles) northeast
of New York City on a small peninsula in Massachusetts
It was founded in 1624 (Soon after, the Pilgrims arrived
in nearby Plymouth), by English settlers and was called
Trimountain (from its three hills) at the beginning.
Later it was renamed after the English town.
Right from the beginning, Massachusetts Bay and Boston
was the centre of Puritan culture and life in America.
By the early 1700s it was well on its way to being one
of the most important city on the Atlantic coast after
King George III and Parliament chose Boston first, to
be levied with taxation without representation.
Resistance surfaced, centred in Boston.
The Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party were the
early signals of the following revolutionary movements,
and the Battle of Bunker Hill was the turning point
to declare independence from the British Empire.
In the late 1700s Boston entered a commercial and industrial
boom which lasted until the mid 1800s in shipbuilding,
maritime trade and manufacturing textiles and shoes.
Chartered as a city in 1822, Boston's Beacon Hill was
soon endowed with many fine mansions built by the city's
These prominent and families also heavily patronised
arts and culture.
In the late 1800s Boston's prominence was challenged
by the growth of other port cities and the westward
expansion of the national borders.
New arrivals from Ireland Italy, the Balkans and Portugal
greatly changed Boston's traditional ethnic and cultural
In the 20th century, Boston has remained an important
commercial centre, port, an important centre for medical
education, treatment and research, and university centre.
Boston's best known and most important sights are within
8 sq km, (5 square miles), including the historic city
centre, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Government Centre,
Financial District, Boston Common Beacon Hill, Chinatown,
Backbay, South End, North End, Fenway and Cambridge
(home of Harvard and MIT) is just across the Charles
Chinese New Year and the St. Patrick's Day are some
of the major celebrations and the Boston Marathon.
Some of Boston's main attractions are;
North End with its narrow, winding streets, smell of
coffee many of the city's Italian population is one
of the oldest neighbourhood.
Copp's Hill Burying Ground, the tiny clapboard Paul
Revere House, the oldest house in Boston and the Old
North Church are here.
Faneuil Hall and the Quincy Market, built in the 1740s,
always been a market with an upstairs meeting hall and
it was made into a tourist attraction in the 1970s.
Street performers regularly perform outside.
Oliver Wendell Holmes called Boston and especially Beacon
Hill the 'hub of the universe,' with the gilt dome of
the Massachusetts State House and the surrounding brick
mansions of Boston's most affluent.
The Old State House, from its balcony the Declaration
of Independence was read, and the Old South Meeting
House, where the 1774 Boston Tea Party begin.
Cambridge, where the famous Harvard University and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are located
just across the Charles River from Boston, Charlestown,
is Boston's living museum of its shipbuilding past,
with the oldest US Navy commissioned ship the USS Constitution
tied up on its shores.
Nearby are the Bunker Hill Monument and Monument Square,
where battles of the Revolutionary War were fought.
Lexington is about 29km (18 miles) from downtown Boston,
where the first battle of the Revolutionary War took
place on the Lexington Green (now called Battle Green),
and many historic houses and taverns.
Then there are Salem, Marblehead, and Cape Cod with
their own histories and attractions.
Boston has a population of about 1 million.
Hui Chin and I arrived in Boston in the middle
of the night and after a lot of walking and I mean a
lot of walking, dragging our suitcases along couldn't
find any affordable hotels with vacancies.
Believe me, we tried quiet a few, in Downtown and nearby.
So disappointed, we walked back to to bus station to
'bunker down' for the rest of the night, with many others.
Early morning with our bags tucked away in the lockers
at the Bus Station, we went to explore Boston and its
neighbourhood on foot and by taxi, because we couldn't
find any 'city sightseeing tours in time.
In the end I think we've managed to see it all.
Including the Downtown, the historic city centre, Faneuil
Hall Marketplace Government Center, Financial District,
Boston Common, Beacon Hill, Chinatown, Backbay, South
End, North End, Fenway and Cambridge and the famous
Harvard University, Charlestown, the USS Constitution,
Paul Revere House, the Old North Church, Faneuil Hall,
Quincy Market, the Massachusetts State House, the Old
South Meeting House, Lexington, Battle Green and many
others of Boston's attractions.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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