The Statue of Liberty, known officially as “Liberty Enlightening the
World,” was a gift to the United States from France in appreciation of the
friendship established during the American Revolution and has stood proudly in
York Harbor for over 120 years, becoming an internationally recognized
symbol of freedom and democracy. Designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste
Bartholdi and funded through donations from the French people, the statue was
created using an iron structure designed by Gustave Eiffel, who later built the
A Liberty figure already adorned most American coins of the time and she
appeared in popular civic art, too. Libertas was the goddess of freedom and was
widely worshipped in ancient Rome.
Bartholdi wanted Lady Liberty to have a peaceful appearance and it is said
that she is modeled after his mother. The torch she holds represents progress
and she wears a crown whose seven rays symbolize the seven seas and seven
continents. She holds a tablet in her left hand that reads (in Roman numerals):
July 4, 1776.
The statue was given to the American Ambassador in Paris on July 4,
1884. Transporting the 151ft (46 m), 225 t (204,100 kg) statue meant it had
to be dismantled into over 300 pieces and packed into 214 wooden crates.
The pedestal was built by the United States, but this was delayed due to lack
of funds. However, a revived effort to raise funds, led by Joseph Pulitzer
through his newspaper “The World”, saw the pedestal built and the
statue’s re-assembly. She was finally dedicated on October 28, 1886 in front
of thousands of spectators.
The Statue of Liberty was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, and
large-scale restoration began. Re-opening to the public in 1986, she stayed open
until September 11, 2001, after which she remained closed to the public until
Standing over 305 feet, the statue has 354 steps inside and 25 viewing
windows in its crown. A visit to Lady Liberty is a must and will be the
highlight of your trip! The monument complex now also includes the nearby Ellis
Island and its long immigrant history.
Today, the Statue of Liberty is still a symbol of freedom and democracy, not
to mention one of the world's most recognizable landmarks.
You can only get to the Statue of Liberty by ferry for which you have to pay,
but entrance is then free. Ferries leave from Liberty State Park in Jersey City
and Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. It is recommend you purchase tickets in
advance; see the website for available options. Be prepared for a thorough
security check including security screening (like in airports) when you get on
the ferry; you may be asked to surrender suspicious objects (no sharp items like
scissors or tools are allowed). Wait times can be several hours, particularly
during peak seasons and on weekends. No food or drinks can be taken in. Large
packages and suitcases will not be permitted on the ferries and there are no
lockers. All visitors must keep items (including strollers) with them at all
times. The sight is well-prepared for wheelchair users and even offers some
American Sign Language tours. Extra security measures are in place for the trip
to the crown, only cameras and medication are allowed.
In October 2012, Liberty Island was hit by Hurricane Sandy. It is set to
reopen on July 4, 2013.
Liberty Island is closed until July 4, 2013.
Ferries from mainland operate from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. During summer the
last ferry departs at 5:00 p.m.
Senior (62+): $14.00
Children (4-12 years): $9.00
Children (under 4): free
Entrance to the Statue is free, but to ascend to its crown, you need to make
Phone: +1 212 363 3200