on October 23, 2005
The Old North Church on Salem Street in the North End seems unassuming enough-- its brick exterior and white steeple are by no means extraordinary. What makes this an historical landmark on the freedom trail is the fact that it was here that two lanterns were hung from this steeple in April of 1775. These lanterns were the signal to Paul Revere that the British were coming by sea ("one if by land, two if by sea") and prompted his midnight ride from Bunker Hill to Lexington. The revolutionary wall essentially began in Boston, and this landmark is one of the most important of them all. The Old North Church has been so well preserved over the years that it is hard to imagine that it is over 200 years old. Its steeple is still visible from other vantage points around Boston— skyscrapers and other buildings have not been built higher than it in that part of town. Periodic maintenance on the woodwork and masonry allow this landmark to shine as it once did in the 1700s. Many artifacts in this church are of historical significance. The angles that are around the organ were stolen from the French in the 1600s. Other artifacts that can be seen when touring this historic building date back to the 17th century, like the large statue of the Virgin Mary. The Old North Church is still a fully functioning Episcopal church, having service every Sunday and on holy days. Try to plan your visit to tour to not coincide with any of the church services. If you would like to attend Mass, go early as this is a very popular church to attend. Admission to tour the church is free when the church is open (typically 9am to 5pm on weekdays and Saturdays).
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