If you can only take one of Gray Line New York’s tours on your next visit to the city, it should probably be our Super New York Tour. A ticket on this tour gives you a 72-hour hop-on hop-off experience of the city, stopping off at all the most important spots, including a trip on the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. While 72 hours isn’t long enough to see everything New York City has to offer, it’s just about enough time to see all of the best spots! If it’s your first time in the city, then the Statue of Liberty is probably close to the top of your list, so we’d like to give you a little background about the history and symbolism of this incredible landmark!
(Image Credit: Bigstock)
The Statue of Liberty — America’s greatest symbol
Most people who come to New York for the first time make sure they visit Lady liberty. This is because the statue has a presence that reaches far beyond its conspicuous position on New York’s coastline. The Statue of Liberty is arguably America’s most famous, most powerful symbol. It’s such an iconic symbol, in fact, that many other cities around the world have also built their own replica Statue of Liberties!
Visitors to the city have seen countless paintings, photographs, postage stamps, scenes in movies etc, featuring the Statue of Liberty and a trip to New York simply wouldn’t be complete without seeing this great symbol up close.
However, the symbol of the Statue of Liberty has hidden depths than most people don’t know. Lady Liberty’s design was based on Libertas — the Roman goddess of liberty and the tablet she holds in her left hand is a tabula ansata with the date of the Declaration of Independence: July 4th 1776. To learn more about the Statue of Liberty, we have to look at who designed her and who commissioned the design.
(Image Credit: Bigstock)
Who Designed the Statue of Liberty?
The Statue of Liberty is perhaps America’s greatest landmark — a fact that is more than a little ironic when you consider that it was designed by a Frenchman! The original design came from the French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and it was built by the world-famous French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel (who also built the eponymous Eiffel Tower).
However, Bartholdi and Eiffel didn’t suddenly decide to design and construct a huge copper statue for no reason; it was requested and commissioned by Édouard René de Laboulaye, the president of the French Anti-Slavery Society as he was a huge supporter of the abolition movement in America at the time. This support of abolition is the main reason for the statue’s symbolism of liberty and freedom, and its connection to the goddess Libertas.
Old postage stamp of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (Image Credit: Creative Commons Public Domain)
Nearby Ellis Island — A welcoming view of Lady Liberty
Since its completion on October 28th 1886, the Statue of Liberty has been the first thing many newcomers to the US saw as they arrived in New York by boat. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants from all over the world have been processed at Ellis Island, just a short distance away from Liberty Island. This meant that the Statue of Liberty was the first impression the United States made with the people arriving to start their lives in the New World. It’s difficult to imagine anything else making as big an impact on newcomers than the huge, imposing statue, first the reddish-brown of pure copper, then the gradual transition to green as the copper oxidised.
Monochrome image of the Statue of Liberty from Ellis Island (Image credit: Bigstock)
If you decide to invest in Grey Line New York’s Super New York Tour ticket, it will include tickets on the ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Islands. This perhaps easiest way to see both islands as well as a host of other must-see New York City sights and attractions in a short time. If you have any questions about our Super New York Tour or any of our famous New York bus tours, please feel free to get in touch. Plan your perfect trip to NYC with Gray Line New York!