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The Culturally and Economically Major Cities of Pennsylvania

Debopriya Bose Sep 27, 2019
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the second state in the United States that got its statehood.
Pennsylvania has occupied an important place in the country's history right since its early times to the present day. It was one of the most well-off colonies of the 13 that formed the British America. It is a state where a large number of important American documents have been signed.
One of the most important document was the Declaration of Independence which was signed in Philadelphia, which is one of the major cities in Pennsylvania. Due to these reasons, it is also known as the Keystone State.

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Pennsylvania became the second state of the United States of America to have obtained its statehood (after Delaware), when it ratified the US Constitution on December 12, 1787.
Philadelphia served as the national capital of the United States from 1790 till 1800, after which the capital was shifted to Washington DC.

Major Cities

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Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania. It is the tenth largest city of the state. The city played an important role in the American Civil War and the Industrial Revolution.
From initially being a modest ferry outpost by the bank of the Susquehanna River, Harrisburg has become the picturesque capital city that has developed as an important center for arts and culture. The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts was one of the first centers in the United States where science and performing arts was practiced under the same roof.

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It is also the home of the Pennsylvania Farm Show - the largest indoor agriculture exhibition in the United States. The John Harrison Mansion, the Pennsylvania State Museum, the State Capitol and the City Island are some of the major tourist attractions of this city.


Due its location and importance among the European colonies in America, Philadelphia had always been a hotbed of American revolutionary activities.
It was here that the First and the Second Continental Congress, that were instrumental in The American War of Independence (American revolution), met. The Continental Convention was also hosted by the city in 1787 that took place to address the problems faced in governing the United States of America since its independence from England.

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Currently, Philadelphia is believed to be among the top tenĀ American cities with the highest GDP. Its strong economy is supported by manufacturing, oil refining, food processing, and tourism.

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Having been historically an important city, Philadelphia has a number places that are of historical importance like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were signed.
Besides this, museums like the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Rodin Museum, and the Franklin Institute Science Museum are major attractions of this city. The city is also known for its high-end restaurants and is famous for delicacies like scrapple, hoagies, soft pretzels, and cheese steak.

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It is the second largest city of Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh is also referred to as the 'City of Bridges' and the 'Steel City ' for its numerous bridges and steel industry.
Although the steel industry has historically been the main driver of the economy of Pittsburgh, today it is more famous for its healthcare, technology, education, and financial services.
It is the home to renowned attractions like the Kennywood (amusement park), Sandcastle Waterpark, Andy Warhol Museum, Point State Park (home of the Fort Pitt Museum), the South Side, and the Duquesne Incline.


It the third most populous city of Pennsylvania, and is located in the Lehigh County. The city achieves it historic importance as the location where the Liberty Bell was hidden from the British during the American War of Independence.

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Though traditionally associated with the heavy industry and manufacturing and then with textile and silk industry that pulled it out of economic slowdown after The Great Depression, Allentown at present houses the headquarters of a number of international companies.
Its association with history has left it with impressive architectural structures such as the neo-Roman Art Museum. Allentown also has the Wildwater Kingdom Amusement Park and Dorney Park, and hosts the Mayfair Festival of the Arts each year since 1986 at the Cedar Beach Park.


Erie is the fourth largest city of the state of Pennsylvania. It is located on the banks of the lake Erie from which it derives it name. It is called the Gem City because of the sparkling waters of the lake. Traditionally it is known for its heavy industries like locomotive and plastic manufacturing.
However, in recent years the city is focusing on tourism asĀ an important revenue of income. Its Presque Isle State Water Park, Waldameer Amusement Park, Water World, and Erie Zoo already draw thousands of visitors each year. Erie is also known for its slake effect snow which is formed during the cold winters when cold winds move over warmer lake waters.
Besides the mentioned cities, Pennsylvania is also the house of other important cities like Reading, Bethlehem, Lancaster, Scranton and Altoona, each of which has its own historic significance and tourist attractions.