Commonly called Philly, Philadelphia is known for its rich history, which can be seen at the Liberty Bell, the Declaration of Independence, and Independence Hall. Sylvester Stallone’s triumphant run in “Rocky” immortalized the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 2016, 42 million domestic tourists spent $6.8 billion in the city and its surrounding Pennsylvania counties, representing $11 billion in economic impact. In addition, the city is known for its arts, culture, cuisine, and colonial and Revolutionary-era history. Philadelphia’s arts and culture scene is a significant draw to the city, and the iconic Rocky steps remain a timeless symbol of the city’s spirit. On this webpage, you will discover unknown and fun facts about Philadelphia.

Fun and unknown facts about the beautiful city of Philadelphia

1. William Penn, an English Quaker and advocate of religious freedom, established Philadelphia in 1682.

2. It was the capital of the Pennsylvania Colony during the British colonial period. It played a vital and historic role as a meeting place for the nation’s founders, whose plans and actions ultimately led to the American Revolution and independence.

3. Besides being the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is also the second-largest city in the Northeast megalopolis and the Mid-Atlantic regions.

4. Up until 1800, it was the United States‘ capital city, making it one of the most historically significant cities in the country.

5. In 2020, Philadelphia had a population of 1,603,797, and over 56 million people lived within 250 miles (400 kilometers).

6. With 6.245 million residents in 2020, Philadelphia is the seventh largest and one of the world’s largest metropolitan regions and is coextensive with Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania’s most populous county.

7. Besides contributing significantly to American history, Philadelphia plays an active role in the sciences, the arts, and literature.

8. Following the Boston Tea Party in 1774, Philadelphia hosted the First Continental Congress, preserved the Liberty Bell, and hosted the Second Continental Congress, during which the founders signed the Declaration of Independence, which historian Joseph Ellis calls “one of the most powerful and consequential words in American history”.

9. From May 10, 1775, until December 12, 1776, Philadelphia served as the nation’s first capital until New York City surpassed it in 1790. In the years following the American Revolution, Philadelphia served as the nation’s capital four times, including from 1790 to 1800, while Washington, D.C., was being built.

10. Philadelphia is home to 18 four-year universities and colleges.

11. As of 2022, Philadelphia is home to five Fortune 500 corporate headquarters. In addition, the city’s skyline, which includes several internationally recognized skyscrapers, is expanding, mainly with new residential high-rises.

12. Philadelphia hosts the most outdoor sculptures and murals in the country.

13. Philly is often ranked as the leading professional sports city in the country due to its five professional sports teams and dedicated fan base.

14. Philadelphia is home to many firsts in the nation:

  • The first university in the United States – was in 1779.
  • The first stock exchange was established in 1790.
  • The first zoo was established in 1874
  • The first business school was founded in 1881.
  • The nation’s first library was established in 1731.
  • In addition to the first hospital (1751) and medical school (1765),
  • The first capital of the country – 1774.


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