Liberty Bell Shrine
622 West Hamilton St. 
Allentown, PA 18101 
(610) 435-4232

Places Nearby:
Lehigh County Historical Society
Museum of Indian Culture
Pool Wildlife Sanctuary
Allentown Art Museum
Moravian Museum of Bethlehem
Lost River Caverns
More in:

Other States:

Though the Liberty Bell is a popular symbol of freedom in our country, how many people actually know its story? I didn't, until recently. And I went to school. 

So, in a nutshell, here it is. 

At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the bell of Independence Hall rang to proclaim liberty throughout the land. It was a powerful moment signalling the rise of a new nation. But a year later things were going badly for Washington and the patriots. Philadelphia was about to fall into enemy hands. 

The British were running low on ammunition, and it was known that they would melt the city's church bells for musket and cannon balls. The nation's Executive Council decided to send the bells to the village of Northampton, now known as Allentown. A train of 700 wagons was organized to carry military stores to Bethlehem. The Liberty Bell was aboard one of these wagons. The local authorities then announced that the Bell had been sunken in the Delaware, creating a shore story for its disappearance. 

After its arrival at Bethlehem, the bells were hauled to Northampton, where they were hidden under the floor of Old Zion Reformed Church, where they remained until the British evacuated Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell and church bells were then restored to their proper places. 

Fifty-seven years later, while it tolled its mourning for Chief Justice John Marshall, the Liberty Bell cracked for the second time -- the first was during the Bell's initial test. 

The Shrine at Allentown occupies the exact spot where the Liberty Bell was hidden. It features a full-size official replica of the Bell flanked by the flags of the original thirteen colonies. The replica is the only one of its type. 

A 46-foot mural depicts in six kaleidoscope scenes the important events of this area of Pennsylvania during the War. A synchronized tape narration and spotlight help tell the story. Other exhibits include paintings, Colonial artifacts, and items that illustrate one of our nation's most dramatic events. The anteroom contains the Portrait of Freedom Collection -- paintings, sculpture and other art that received the Freedoms Foundation Award. 

Visitors can take a Self-Guided Tour of the Shrine. Groups are welcome.

Hours: Monday - Saturday 12 - 4pm. Other hours by appointment. Closed in January. Note that times are subject to change. Please call to confirm before visiting.
FREE. Donations appreciated. Fee charged for special events and exhibits. Call to confirm.
Group Reservations: At least 2 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Nearby restaurants. 
Handicapped Access: Not accessible. 
Directions: PA Turnpike to Northeast Ext. to Allentown exit. Rt. 22 east to 7th St. South exit. Go Hamilton St. and turn left for about 2 blocks. 

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.