Pennsylvania, abbreviation PA, is a state in the eastern United States of America. The state capital is Harrisburg, but the largest city is Philadelphia. See all cities in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is one of four states that call themselves a Commonwealth rather than a State, though this makes no legal difference. The state’s nickname is “the Keystone State”. A keystone, in Dutch, keystone, is the top stone in an arch construction. Of the original thirteen states that fought the English in the War of Independence, six were north and six south of Pennsylvania. This State held the thirteen together as a keystone, as it were.
Pennsylvania is known for the Amish who live there. Pennsylvania is a true industrial state. Yet there is also a lot of nature left, mostly in the form of mountains and hills. The State also has a number of beautiful forests and parks, but it is not really special. What is special is the historical value of mainly Philadelphia. Philadelphia is the city where America originated. The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the First Capital; it all happened in Philadelphia. In this city you can visit many interesting historical buildings and museums.
Pennsylvania is located in the northeastern United States, bordering the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio. Across Lake Erie, it borders Canada, namely the province of Ontario. Although Pennsylvania does not have a classic coastline, it is connected to the sea via the Delaware River, because this is a tidal river. Pennsylvania measures a maximum of 495 kilometers from west to east and 285 kilometers from north to south.
Pennsylvania is largely dominated by the Appalachian Mountains, a forested mountain range with steep ridges. These are particularly prevalent in the middle of the state. The north is hilly in a different way and even more densely wooded. The far west is flatter and is actually part of the Great Plains. The southeast is flatter. Several major rivers cross the state. To the west, the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers form the important Ohio River from Pittsburg. The Delaware River forms the eastern border of the state, and the Susquehanna River is a wide river down its middle.
Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site
Gloria dei Church, or Old Swedes Church, is a historic church that was founded in 1677 in the Pennsylvanian city of Philadelphia. It is the oldest church in the country and also the second oldest Church of Sweden church in the United States of America. The first Swedish pioneers settled in what was then New Sweden around 1646.
The church was built from the original Wicaco fort in South Philadelphia, which was converted into a place of worship in 1677 and is still in use today. The church was consecrated on July 2, 1700, during the First Sunday after Trinity.
Gloria Dei was the first Lutheran church consecrated in the Western Hemisphere. German theology student Justus Falckner served as a priest here from 1703. Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind once even sang in the church during her American tour. In the center of the nave hangs a huge Swedish chandelier, which was donated to the church by the famous Swedish artist Carl Milles. The church was a frequent place of visits by the Swedish royal family and bishops.
Gloria dei Church can be found at the intersection of Columbus Boulevard and Christian Street. The interior of the church houses many collections of historical and religious artefacts, the rarest of which is a bronze cross from the 18th century. Another important monument is the Bible written in Swedish and English. In 1845, the Swedish Lutheran Assembly of the Episcopal Church was held here.
The church was designated a National Historic Site on November 17, 1942, and is now managed by the National Park Service. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. The church is also a memorial to John Hanson – President of Congress during the American Revolution.
The first Europeans to settle in the area were Swedes and the Dutch who established the colony of New Sweden here in 1638. On March 4, 1681, the British King Charles II gifted it to William Penn, who founded a Quaker colony there. The state’s name means “land of the forests of Penn” (silva is Latin for “forest”).
Pennsylvania was originally larger: at the time of the rebellion against British rule (see American Revolution), present-day Delaware split off. On December 12, 1787, five days after Delaware, Pennsylvania became the second state of the United States.
During the American Civil War, the state sided with the Union. The Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania was a defining moment in that conflict.
Pennsylvania is an important industrial state, especially for the manufacturing industry. It is one of the most important states in the country economically, although it ranks in the middle when it comes to prosperity. Pittsburgh was historically known as a major city of the steel industry, but the economy here has had to refocus since the steel industry contracted in the 1970s, and Pittsburgh has been more successful than many other cities in the so-called ‘Rust Belt’..
Philadelphia is home to many financial institutions and manufacturing industries, although the city is somewhat overshadowed by New York City and Washington. Agriculture plays an important role outside the major cities.