Savannah

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Savannah is the largest city and county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important Atlantic seaport.

Each year Savannah attracts millions of visitors, who enjoy the city's architecture and historic buildings: the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (founder of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America), the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences (one of the South's first public museums), the First African Baptist Church (one of the oldest African American Baptist congregations in the United States), Temple Mickve Israel (the third-oldest synagogue in America), and the Central of Georgia Railway roundhouse complex (the oldest standing antebellum rail facility in America).

Savannah's downtown area, which includes the Savannah Historic District, the Savannah Victorian Historic District and 22 parklike squares, is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States (designated by the U.S. government in 1966). Savannah was the host city for the sailing competitions during the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, Georgia.

Savannah's architecture and history are internationally known, as is its reputation for Southern charm and hospitality; for example, the city's former promotional name was "Hostess City of the South," a phrase still used by the city government.Each year, Savannah attracts millions of visitors from across the country and around the world. Savannah's downtown area is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States.

The city's location offers visitors access to the coastal islands and the Savannah Riverfront, both popular tourist destinations. Tybee Island, formerly known as "Savannah Beach", is the site of the Tybee Island Light Station, the first lighthouse on the southern Atlantic coast. Other picturesque towns adjacent to Savannah include the shrimping village of Thunderbolt and three residential areas that began as summer resort communities for Savannahians: Beaulieu, Vernonburg and the Isle of Hope.

The Savannah International Trade & Convention Center is located on Hutchinson Island, across from downtown Savannah and surrounded by the Savannah River. The Belles Ferry connects the island with the mainland, as does the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge.

The Savannah Civic Center is located on Montgomery Street and is host to over 900 events each year, including the Memorial Health Hockey Classic.

Savannah's historic district has 22 squares (Ellis Square, demolished in 1954, was fully restored in early 2010). The squares vary in size and personality, from the formal fountain and monuments of the largest, Johnson, to the playgrounds of the smallest, Crawford. Elbert, Ellis, and Liberty Squares are classified as the three "lost squares," destroyed in the course of urban development during the 1950s. Elbert and Liberty Squares were paved over to make way for a realignment of U.S. highway 17, while Ellis Square was demolished to build the City Market parking garage. The city restored Ellis Square after razing the City Market parking garage. The garage has been rebuilt as an underground facility, the Whitaker Street Parking Garage, and it opened in January 2009. The newly restored Ellis Square opened in March 2010. Separate efforts are now under way to revive Elbert and Liberty Squares.

Other attractions in Savannah includes:

  • Historic Church: Christ Church(longest continuous Christian congregation in Georgia), The First Bryan Baptist Church, First Baptist Church(the oldest standing church in Savannah), Independent Presbyterian Church, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Temple Mickve Israel, St. John's Church.
  • Historic Homes: the Pink House, the Sorrel Weed House, Juliette Gordon Low's birthplace, the Green-Meldrim House, the Owens-Thomas House, the William Scarbrough House, and the Wormsloe plantation of Noble Jones, The Mercer-Williams House(the main location of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil).
  • Cemetery: Colonial Park Cemetery (an early graveyard dating back to the English colony of Georgia), Laurel Grove Cemetery (graves of many Confederate soldiers and African American slaves), Bonaventure Cemetery (a former plantation and the final resting place for some illustrious Savannahians).
  • Historic forts: Fort Jackson, Fort Pulaski National Monument.
  • Other Registered historic sites: Savannah Historic District and the Savannah Victorian Historic District, Forsyth Park, Juliette Gordon Low Historic District, Central of Georgia Railroad, Riverfront Plaza and Factors' Walk, City Market, Savannah State University campus and Walter Bernard Hill Hall, Telfair Museum of Art, Telfair Academy of Arts of Sciences, Ossabaw Island.
  • Shopping: Abercorn Common, Savannah Historic District, Oglethorpe Mall, Savannah Mall, Abercorn Walk.
  • Garden: Bamboo Farm and Coastal Gardens

URL

http://www.savannahga.gov

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