The United States is home to many different icons representing the country and have become some of the trademarks that many foreign countries use to identify the United States. The Statue of Liberty is one of these icons. If you ask anyone that lives in the United States what one thing that they associate with the United States and the freedom that the country represents, a majority of those people will likely answer the Statue of Liberty. She is one of the national treasures that every American citizen should visit at some point in their life.

The Statue of Liberty was actually not something that a United States citizen created, nor was she even built in the United States. The Statue of Liberty was actually a gift that was given to the United States from France. It was a gift that was to symbolize the friendship that existed between France and the United States. The statue was dedicated in October of 1886. She then became a National Monument in 1924. The Statue of Liberty was then restored in July of 1986 for her 100th birthday.

The Statue of Liberty is located on an island by the name of Liberty Island, located just off the coast of New York City. This was the place that many immigrants to the United States used to pass through, making the Statue of Liberty one of the first pieces of the United States that these immigrants would see. This made the statue a symbol of friendship from France and a symbol of freedom and hope. Today, many people across the country visit the statue each year.

Design & Construction

The Statue of Liberty was designed by a French man by the name of Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi. The statue was originally slotted for completion in the year 1876 to be able to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the United States becoming its own independent country. Lack of proper funding, however, caused the project to take longer than intended. While France was primarily responsible for the building and assembling the Statue of Liberty herself, the United States was in charge of building the pedestal on which she would rest for her entire existence.

The construction of the Statue of Liberty was difficult. The sculptor required the help of an engineer to create the statue so that she was structurally sound. Creating a statue of that size and from that material proved to be quite difficult. But with the collaboration with the engineer and a man by the name of Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the creator of the Eiffel Tower, Bartholdi was able to complete the statue in July of 1884. She was then shipped to the United States in 350 individual pieces that were packaged into 214 crates. She arrived in the United States in June of 1885. The pedestal was finally able be started in August of 1885 and completed in April of 1886. She was then assembled in time for her dedication in October of 1886.

Visiting Information

Visiting the Statue of Liberty does not require an entrance fee to the island or the statue herself. The only way to reach the island, however, is by ferry boat. These boats that are specifically chartered for trips to and from Liberty Island charge a fee for passage. This fee is $30 for ages 13 and older, $25 for seniors age 62 and over, and $19 for children ages 4 to 12. Children under the age of 4 are free. The national park service only allows a certain number of visitors each day within the statue exhibits. This means that visitors must first acquire a Time Pass from the ferry boat. These Time Passes are free and will allow the holder to enter the pedestal exhibits. Time Passes can also be ordered for an additional surcharge when ordering your ferry tickets in advance.

Many other things are available for visitors to experience during their visit. This includes guided tours by park rangers. These tours are free and are held at regular intervals throughout each day and give visitors the statue's history. Visitors that hold a Time Pass will also be allowed to tour the exhibits located within the statue's pedestal. These exhibits include the original torch from the Statue of Liberty. In addition to the original torch, visitors can also see tributes to those who built the statue along with the bronze plaque in memory of Emma Lazarus, who wrote the statue's famous poem in 1883 called 'New Colossus.'

Unfortunately, due to many of the events that have taken place in the past, access to the statue herself, including her crown and torch, is no longer allowed. In addition to these restrictions, security for Ellis and Liberty Islands has also increased. This means that visitors must be prepared to encounter airport-like security checkpoints before boarding the ferry boats. Also, similar to the airlines, there are restrictions on the islands' items. Reading this list of restricted items before you visit the Statue of Liberty can save you time and hassle. There are no lockers available to store restricted items while visiting the statue, so possession of such items will cause you to be denied access to the ferry boats. This includes larger items such as backpacks or suitcases.