The sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry during the War Of 1812 inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the national ... More
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
The sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry during the War Of 1812 inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the national anthem, the 'Star Spangled Banner'. A replica of that flag waves over the harbor-side port, now a tranquil National Park. The restored barracks hold exhibits of military and historical artifacts and a well-kept trail runs along the water's edge, affording spectacular views of ships entering and leaving the busy harbor. National Park passes are welcome.
THe experience was very much fun and was very educating. To see, feel and sense history that helped forge this great country was very exciting. Treasures like this need to be preserved and in fact should be required to be visited by all grade school and high school kids in the USA. Great staff, great preservation of a wonderful piece of our history. Will think of this great monument every time we sing the Star Spangeled Banner. Reminds us of the gutts, courage and strength that it took to secure our freedoms that many take for granted!
My wife and I visited onJul.06, 2009
I read many negative and many positive reviews on this site - all justified.
I believe that the difference lies in taking the tour with one of the very well trained guides. We meandered around at first looking at this and that and then caught up with a tour with guide so we started listening. I think that the guide's name was Jim Beattie or something like that. He was nothing short of excellent. He was telling the history and acting it out, explaining everything. He was animated and was like the best teacher you ever had.
He, I believe, was the difference.
Some reviewers indicate that it might be boring. It is, however, such an important part of American history. By the time he was finished, you understand the entire meaning of the words to the Star Spangled Banner and you will have a better appreciation of it and respect for the brave men who died so that we might live in freedom, as Americans.
Hugh & Marie, West Hempstead, NY and Dublin Ireland
Basically, it's a typical Fort... but with such history. The opening movie is very nice and explains about our national anthem. If in Baltimore, it's a must see! Take the water taxi -- makes a great day!
since I live near the Fort McHenry I visit as often as I can. One year I had taken my oldest there to see a Civil War reenactment and had learned that they had kept the mayors of Baltimore and Washington in the small prision cells they have there for a few days along with one of Francis Scott Keys grandsons.. The rangers that work at the fort are very friendly and helpful. They also have a gift shop at the vistors center.
This is a very important site in the history of the United States and some of the original fort still exists. However, a lot of things (items, buildings, weapons, ammo, etc) has been added to make it resemble the way it was. Some cool exhibits (such as a light-up board showing the battle that happened at the fort) were added, so be sure to check those out. A lot of the actual brick fort still exists, which was very cool. It had a lot of secret passageways and underground tunnels, however none of them were open to the public. This fort was kind of out of the way and was $7 to tour the grounds, so the value is not very good. However, from what I saw, you could tour all around the fort for free (around the edges and near the water). The admission fee was only for the inside of the fort. None of the upstairs of the buildings were open either, which was also disappointing. As of August 2007, there was a lot of construction in the area, so pay attention to the detours and look for the brown signs leading you to the fort. Be sure to catch the 15-20 minute movie in the main building.
Not a lot there, but if you want to know where the "Star-Spangled Banner" came from, then it is worth it. Nice views of Baltimore. Take a water taxi over there for an even more enjoyable time (and then eat lunch in Fells Point).
I have lived in Maryland all my life, and took many field trips when I was young to many local landmarks in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. However, never made it to Fort McHenry. My husband and I decided to take our girls there yesterday. We live just outside of Baltimore, so it is very close. I can't believe we haven't been before. The staff was excellent, and very knowledgeable, the kids were free, and the demonstrations were very educational. If you are in the Baltimore area, or planning to visit, put Fort McHenry on your list of things to do and see. You won't be sorry!
This is a wonderful historic site. It was very moving to see the site and read all about the history of our country. The one thing I would have done differently was to go after the schools get out. They are open until 5 but we went at about 1:30 and there were tons of kids on field trips. The chaperones were sitting around and the kids were running wild through the historical structures so we ended up leaving before even seeing it all. It is worth the seven dollars though!
This is a must see for anyone interested in history! one can visualize what it was like to be Francis Scott Key! they have interactive maps showing how the battles were mostly played out. When we were there they were doing re-enactments. If you love Ameriac and appreciate what America stnads for this is defintely a place to go! My dh loves history and could have spent a few hours there reading everything and looking at everything.
It was immaculate not like some places we visited.
History Buffs will find this more interesting than most people. That's not to say that everyone else shouldn't see it. It's a good place for a picnic, or to look at the water and just walk around. The neighborhood is up and coming so don't worry about that. It's not free, but definitally worth your time.
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