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Old North Church, A Magnificent Testament to United States History

Old North Church Old North Church Photo: Adavyd via Wikimedia

The Old North Church officially known as Christ Church in the City of Boston was built in 1723 when the colonies were still very young. It is located at 193 Salem Street in the north end of Boston. When it was built, the architecture was inspired by the works of Christopher Wren the same man who was responsible for the rebuilding of London after the “Great Fire.”

History surrounds this church and seems to flow out from within, touching all who wish to let it. The true history of this historic landmark started on April 18, 1775. It is said this is where the famous lanterns were lit, in the historic “One if by land and two if by sea” signal.  This phrase is directly related to the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere on April 18, 1775.

The Old North Church is the oldest standing church building in the city of Boston and is a National Historic Landmark. This wonderful church is filled with character and the American spirit, a real testament to the courage and determination of a nation that was struggling to be born.

Just step into the church and one will feel the significance of this spiritual landmark. Also, inside the church is a bust of George Washington, it was said by the Marquis de Lafayette, this bust was the best resemblance to Washington that he had ever seen.

The bells in this church are remarkable they are what are called Change Ringing Bells. What are Change Ringing Bells? This is the art of ringing a set of tuned bells in a series of Mathematical patterns called “changes.” The bells in the North Church were cast in Gloucester, England in 1744, then brought to Boston and hung in 1745. These exceptional bells are maintained and rung on a regular basis.

Over the years the church has sustained some damage from storms. In the Storm of October 1804 the original steeple was damaged, it was replaced by a steeple designed by Charles Bulfinch. This steeple was then destroyed by Hurricane Carol in August of 1954. The latest steeple was created by using designs based on the elements from the original and the Bulfinch version.

The Old North Church has bodies buried in the basement. Archeologist have been examining the remains, they estimate that 1,100 bodies are buried here in 37 tombs. If one were to book a behind the scenes tour, run by the church, they would have the privilege of touring the crypt as well as the steeple.

This is a must see on any tour of Boston. Step into this historic landmark, close your eyes, take a deep breath and just imagine…


Historic Site Hours:
Jan-Feb: 10am - 4pm; March-May: 9am - 5pm
June-Oct: 9am - 6pm; Nov-Dec: 9am - 5pm
Address/Map:  193 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113
Phone: (617) 523-6676
Website: Plan your visit to Old North Church