Must See Historic Gettysburg
As the site of North America’s longest and bloodiest battle, Gettysburg National Park now stands as a somber reminder of America’s only Civil War. Located in Gettysburg Pennsylvania, Gettysburg National Military Park spans at 3,965 acres of battlefield and other areas associated with the battle. The natural beauty of the area, with its expansive forests and fields, stands in stark contrast to the events that took place there.
Among the parks most memorable sights are the various state memorials scattered throughout. These memorials commemorate the soldiers who died at the battlefield and remind visitors of that loss. A notable memorial is The Pennsylvania State Memorial, the parks biggest memorial. This enormous stone structure memorializes Union soldiers and stands out for its height and architecture. Visitors can climb up the monument to gain a birds-eye view of the battlefield, along with markers noting the direction and distance from other park landmarks, such as little round top and the Wheatfield.
The Pennsylvania State Monument isn’t the only other point of interest. Also notable is the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. The monument stands tall with its natural gas lit flame burning continuously. The Gettysburg address gets its name from the battlefield, as the famous speech was performed in the parks cemetery. Another notable monument is the Virginia State Monument, the first and largest Confederate State monument in Gettysburg, which features Robert E. Lee on his favorite horse, Traveler, above five confederate soldiers.
Much effort has been made to restore the battlefield to its original state. Native plants have been replanted and orchards and other such farmlands are currently being revitalized. This effort showcases how much dedication is given to the park and the accuracy of the landscape. It also showcases the natural beauty of the area, from native flowering trees such as Tulip Trees, to huge oaks, older then the battle itself.
There is a lot of information for the parks visitors, from stories about its battle, its landscape and its participants. Gettysburg is loaded with history and significance. The stories of the battle reveal the drama and desperation felt by America during its first and only Civil War. There are several tours available, dedicated to telling the story of the war and several tour options, which include bus, guide, and even self-guide tours. Should you go, it is advised to use one of these tours, as otherwise Gettysburg will seem too daunting to fully digest.
Tours can be found at the Parks visitor center. The building itself is very nice, well landscaped and easy to navigate. The center also serves as a sort of mini museum, showing movies about the battle and war and holding several items from the war including uniforms and guns used. There is also a Cyclorama of the battle in the center. The painting of the battle is like a curved moving screen, which gives the illusion of a 3d effect. This allows the battle to be seen in an intense glory. In addition there is a huge gift shop, which caters to all impulse buying needs.
Gettysburg is a must visit. Doing tours, taking photos, learning about the history, can fill days of sightseeing and exploration.