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Nickname : Philly, City of Brotherly Love, The City that Loves you Back, Cradle of Liberty, The Quaker City, The Birthplace of America, Illadelph
Top, left to right: the Philadelphia skyline, Benjamin Franklin statue, Liberty Bell, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia City Hall and Independence Hall
Top, left to right: the Philadelphia skyline, Benjamin Franklin statue , Liberty Bell , Philadelphia Museum of Art , Philadelphia City Hall and Independence Hall
Seal of Philadelphia
Philadelphia flag
Location in Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Basic data
Foundation : October 27, 1682
State : United States
State : Pennsylvania
County : Philadelphia County
Coordinates : 39 ° 57 ′  N , 75 ° 10 ′  W Coordinates: 39 ° 57 ′  N , 75 ° 10 ′  W
Time zone : Eastern ( UTC − 5 / −4 )
Inhabitants :
Metropolitan Area :
1,567,872 (as of 2016)
6,070,500 (as of 2016)
Population density : 4,480.9 inhabitants per km 2
Area : 369.4 km 2  (approx. 143 mi 2 ) of
which 349.9 km 2  (approx. 135 mi 2 ) is land
Height : 12 m
Structure: 12 boroughs
Postcodes : 19019-19255
Area code : +1 215, 267, 445
FIPS : 42-60000
GNIS ID : 1209052
Website :
Mayor : Jim Kenney
Philadelphia aerial.jpg
Aerial view of Philadelphia
Philadelphia (USA)
Philadelphia on the map of the United States

Philadelphia is a city in the US state of Pennsylvania . With around 1.6 million inhabitants (as of 2016, estimate by the US Census Bureau), it is the sixth largest city in the United States and the largest in the state of Pennsylvania. On the east coast , Philadelphia is the second largest city after New York City . The city is located on the Delaware River in the center of the Delaware Valley metropolitan area .

Philadelphia is one of the most important cities in US history. After New York and before Washington, it was the national capital from 1790 to 1800 and at that time the largest city in the USA and the second largest English-speaking city in the world after London . The first and partly also the second continental congress and the constitutional convention of 1787 met in Philadelphia , the American Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) was proclaimed here and the constitution passed.

Philadelphia is colloquially called Philly or City of Brotherly Love . The name of the city is based on that of several ancient cities ( ancient Greek Φιλαδέλφεια Philadélpheia , from Philádelphos , the nickname Attalos II. ) And was probably directly related to the independently formed noun ( φιλαδελφία philadelphía , German , 'brotherly love' ) by William Penn . It is composed of the roots of φιλέω philéō , German ' to love' or φιλία philía , German 'love' and ultimately φίλος phílos , German 'dear, dear, loving, friendly' as well as ἀδελφός adelphós , German 'brother' , means ' Place of brotherly love 'or' brotherly love '.


Geographical location

Philadelphia is located in the southeastern part of the state of Pennsylvania, between the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers , about 210 km northeast of Washington DC, 90 km northwest of Atlantic City and 180 km southwest of New York City.


The average height of Philadelphia is 12 meters above sea level. The lowest point in the city is three meters. The highest is Chestnut Hill near German Town at 136 meters above sea level. The city lies on the fall line that separates the Atlantic coastal plain from Piedmont .

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: National Weather Service, US Dept of Commerce
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 4.6 6.6 11.5 17.7 23.2 28.2 30.6 29.6 25.6 19.2 13.3 7.1 O 18.2
Min. Temperature (° C) −3.6 −2.4 1.3 6.7 12.2 17.7 20.7 19.9 15.7 9.1 4.0 −1.1 O 8.4
Precipitation ( mm ) 77.0 67.3 96.3 90.4 94.2 87.1 110.5 88.9 96.0 80.8 75.9 90.4 Σ 1,054.8
Rainy days ( d ) 10.6 9.4 10.5 11.3 11.1 9.8 9.9 8.4 8.7 8.6 9.3 10.6 Σ 118.2
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

City structure


Philadelphia is divided into seven boroughs, similar to the boroughs in New York , and these in turn are divided into individual quarters. List of boroughs in Philadelphia:

Some well-known neighborhoods in these boroughs are:

Neighboring and surrounding municipalities


Historical map (around 1888)

Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was planned by the city founder William Penn in 1681 as the capital of the Quaker colony of Pennsylvania. Penn gave the new city a biblical name: In Rev 3 : 7–13  EU , Philadelphia is the only one of the seven churches that remains unreservedly faithful to the Lamb of God (i.e. Jesus Christ) even in the time of persecution.

In 1683 13 German Quaker and Mennonite families came from Krefeld with the ship “ Concord ” to Philadelphia and settled in the suburb called Germantown , which was newly founded by Franz Daniel Pastorius .

Philadelphia was the second capital of the United States of America (1790–1800) after New York (1788–1790) until the completion of the new capital, Washington, DC

The Declaration of Independence was passed and promulgated in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776 , as was the constitution on July 17, 1787. Until the early 19th century, Philadelphia was also the largest city in the United States and at times the largest English-speaking city west of London.

From 1838 to 1844, Edgar Allan Poe and his wife Virginia Clemm Poe spent six very productive years in Philadelphia. He was initially the editor of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine , then editor-in-chief of Graham's Magazine . During these years Poe et al. a. Ligeia , The Fall of the House of Usher , The Double Murder on Rue Morgue and The Gold Beetle .

Johannes Nepomuk Neumann , a Bohemian-German priest and missionary, was ordained Bishop of Philadelphia in 1852. In just eight years in office, he laid the foundations for the church school system that still exists in the United States. In 1977 he was appointed by Pope Paul VI. canonized as the first American bishop. From 1854 the German painter Paul Weber was active in Philadelphia and influenced the Hudson River School .

In 1876 the Centennial Exhibition , the first official world exhibition in the United States, took place in Philadelphia . For example, the Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park has been preserved from the buildings .

The famous Liberty Bell , which had previously traveled through the country as a symbol of the Wars of Independence , has been in the city again since 1915 and has been hanging in an exhibition building specially created for this purpose since 2003; together with Independence Hall , where it once hung, Philadelphia is home to two of the most important symbolic sites in the United States .

Philadelphia is home to the oldest post office in the United States, as well as the first two banks and America's first zoo.

Philadelphia has three sites of outstanding historical importance to American history: Independence National Historical Park , Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, and Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial . 67 places have the status of a National Historic Landmark . The Independence Hall itself has been a World Heritage Site in the United States of America since 1979 . 580 buildings and sites in Philadelphia County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) as of September 22, 2020.


Population development

Population development
Depiction of the ethnic distribution of the population in Philadelphia in 2000. White , Black , Asian , Latino .

The population peaked at over two million around 1950, accompanied by a housing shortage; many of the apartments were built in the 19th century and lacked modern sanitary facilities. Then the population in the urban area decreased continuously to around 1.5 million, while that of the metropolitan area grew.

year Residents
1790 28,522
1800 41,220
1810 53,722
1820 63,802
1830 80,462
1840 93,665
1850 121,376
1860 565,529
year Residents
1870 674.022
1880 847.170
1890 1,046,964
1900 1,293,697
1910 1,549,008
1920 1,823,779
1930 1,950,961
1940 1,931,334
year Residents
1950 2,071,605
1960 2,002,512
1970 1,948,609
1980 1,688,210
1990 1,585,577
2000 1,517,550
2010 1,526,006
2016 1,567,872

The following table shows the population development of the Metropolitan Statistical Area Philadelphia - Camden - Wilmington according to the definition of the US Census Bureau 2015, which extends over the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland:

year Residents¹
1990 5,435,550
2000 5,686,329
2010 5,065,662
2016 6,070,500

¹ 1990–2010: census results; 2016: US Census Bureau estimate

Composition of the population

According to the census ( US Census ) of 2010, 41% of the population white, 43.4% were African American , 6.3% were Asian, 12.3% were Hispanics of different " race ". For the first time, there were more black than white residents in Philadelphia, which is mainly due to the fact that many members of the white middle class have left the city center, a development that has been observed in almost all major US cities since the 1950s. The composition of the city's population of European descent shows the long history of immigration to the USA : 13.6% are Irish , 9.2% Italian , 8.1% German , 4.3% Polish and 2.3% English .


Town twinning

Philadelphia has eight official sister cities:

Philadelphia also has city partnerships with the following cities or towns:

Philadelphia also participates in the "Partners of Peace" project and maintains a partnership with:

Dealing with crime in Philadelphia

On the part of the judiciary, the following agencies are responsible for maintaining law and order: The Philadelphia Police Department, the Court of Common Pleas, and the Philadelphia Public Prosecutor's Office.

The high crime and murder rate and some nationally sensational murder cases and confrontations led to public debates. It was about the lack of eyesight of the police towards African Americans, as well as complaints about the unwillingness of the black community, especially men, to participate in public security.

On September 12, 2007, Sheriff Sylvester Johnson called on 10,000 Afro-American Philadelphians to patrol the streets of the city to prevent crime. Johnson took this action called "Call to Action: 10,000 Men, It's a New Day" to reduce the disproportionately high proportion of black murder victims. Dennis Muhammad as local representative of the Nation of Islam and Philadelphia's Mayor John F. Street supported the project.


  • Election revolt of 1742: conflict between the Quakers and the emerging German-American minority
  • Lombard Street riot ( Lombard Street riot , 1842): Three days of street battle between representatives of the black and Irish communities
  • Philadelphia Nativist Riots (1844): Anti-Catholic excesses (see nativism )
  • Philadelphia race riot (1964): Race riots in North Philadelphia, serious destruction, numerous injuries; important impetus for the civil rights movement .


The metropolitan area of ​​Philadelphia generated an economic output of 417.7 billion US dollars in 2016. The gross domestic product per capita is 62,817 US dollars. In a 2014 study, Philadelphia was ranked 28th among the world's most economically powerful metropolitan areas and 8th in the United States. The unemployment rate was 5.8% (as of March 2018) and was thus above the national average. The city's economy is largely determined by the service sector.

The largest Philadelphia-based companies are Comcast , CIGNA , Sunoco , Aramark , Carpenter Technology, and chemical companies Rohm and Haas and FMC Corporation . The pharmaceutical companies Wyeth and SmithKline Beecham had their headquarters there too. The headquarters of the former Pennsylvania Railroad were also in Philadelphia.

Culture and sights


The Independence Hall as seen from the north side
The LOVE sculpture on John F. Kennedy Plaza

Other museums and memorials


  • Walnut Street Theater , since 1809
  • Plays and Players Theater, since 1913
  • Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, since 1971
  • Arden Theater Company, since 1988
  • Lantern Theater Company, since 1994
  • Wilma Theater, since 1996
  • Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts , since 2001
  • Suzanne Roberts Theater, since 2007


Comcast Technology Center
Comcast Center

The skyline of Philadelphia is dominated by many skyscrapers. For a long time, no building was allowed to exceed the 167 meters of the town hall tower . The first building that was taller is One Liberty Place from 1987. Since then, ten more skyscrapers have been built beyond this height mark. These are listed here.

rank Surname Total height in meters Floors opening use
1 Comcast Technology Center 342.7 59 2017 office building
2 Comcast Center 297.2 57 2008 office building
3 One Liberty Place 288 61 1987 office building
4th Two Liberty Place 258.5 58 1990 office building
5 Mellon Bank Center 242 53 1990 office building
6th Cira Center South Office Tower 224.3 49 2017 office building
7th Bell Atlantic Tower 225.3 55 1991 office building
8th G. Fred DiBona Jr. Building 190.5 45 1990 office building
9 W Hotel & Elements by Westin 177 52 2018 hotel
10 One Commerce Square 172.2 41 1990 office building
10 Two Commerce Square 172.2 41 1990 office building


Since 1900 the city has been home to the Philadelphia Orchestra , which rose to world fame under Leopold Stokowski . The name of the city was also the origin of the Philly sound , which originated in the 1960s.


The Pat's King of Steaks in South Philadelphia

Philadelphia is known for the "Philly Cheesesteak" that comes from here . A prominent restaurant for this dish is Pat's King of Steaks , founded by Pat Olivieri in South Philadelphia in 1930 , which was initially just a simple hot dog stand . In 1933 Olivieri is said to have invented the Philly Cheesesteak here with his brother Harry.

Public transport

Buses and trams in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is at the center of the public transportation system operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). It includes subway, tram and trolleybus routes and is one of the largest public networks in the United States. With 9,000 employees, it serves a region of 3.9 million people.

Philadelphia 30th Street Station is an important interchange point .

Philadelphia International Airport is also located in the city.


Philadelphia is one of the twelve cities in the United States currently represented by a team in each of the four major sports (American football, ice hockey, baseball and basketball) in the top division.

club sport league championship homestead
Philadelphia Eagles American football National Football League ; NFC 4 (1948, 1949, 1960, 2018) Lincoln Financial Field
Philadelphia Flyers ice Hockey National Hockey League ; Eastern 2 (1973-1974, 1974-1975) Wells Fargo Center
Philadelphia Phillies baseball Major league baseball ; NL 2 (1980, 2008) Citizens Bank Park
Philadelphia 76ers basketball National Basketball Association ; Eastern 3 (1954-1955, 1966-1967, 1982-1983) Wells Fargo Center
Philadelphia Union Soccer Major League Soccer PPL Park
Philadelphia Wings Indoor lacrosse National Lacrosse League 6 (1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2001) Wells Fargo Center
Philadelphia Soul Arena football Arena Football League 3 (2008, 2016, 2017) Wells Fargo Center


Philadelphia is home to several higher education institutions, including a. the elite University of Pennsylvania , which is part of the Ivy League of American educational institutions, the Curtis Institute of Music , the private Thomas Jefferson University ( Health Sciences ), Temple University , La Salle University and Drexel University .


sons and daughters of the town

Personalities related to the city

Philadelphia in film and television

The legendary screwball comedy The Philadelphia Story (1940; German The night before the wedding ) is set in Philadelphia . Significant films and series that were shot in whole or in part in Philadelphia include:

The US series Cold Case (2003–2010), Pretty Little Liars (2010–2017), Body of Proof (2011–2013) and How to Get Away with Murder (since 2014) are set in Philadelphia and Surroundings.



Web links

Commons : Philadelphia  - album containing pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Philadelphia  Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. Philly slips from fifth to sixth, as Phoenix rises,, May 25, 2017
  2. ^ The National Map
  3. ^ The Fall Line and major cities of the Eastern US
  4. Both groups lived so closely together that it is not clear whether the Krefeld emigrants can be assigned to the Mennonites or the Quakers. See also the article on THE INDEPENDENT FRIEND
  5. Listing of National Historic Landmarks by State: Pennsylvania. National Park Service , accessed September 22, 2020.
  6. Entry on the website of the UNESCO World Heritage Center ( English and French ).
  7. Search mask database in the National Register Information System. National Park Service , accessed September 22, 2020.
    Weekly List on the National Register Information System. National Park Service , accessed September 22, 2020.
  9. Eric C. Schneider: Crime. In: The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia , 2014. See also Crime Maps & Stats at the Philadelphia Police Department.
  10. Black men urged to help Philadelphia police to reduce crime . September 14, 2007. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  11. ^ US Department of Commerce, BEA, Bureau of Economic Analysis: Bureau of Economic Analysis. Retrieved July 4, 2018 (American English).
  12. ^ Alan Berube, Jesus Leal Trujillo, Tao Ran, and Joseph Parilla: Global Metro Monitor . In: Brookings . January 22, 2015 ( [accessed July 4, 2018]).
  13. ^ Unemployment in the Philadelphia Area by County - March 2018: Mid-Atlantic Information Office: US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved July 4, 2018 (American English).
  14. Cameron Cuchulainn: Skating to the bitter end: Photos from the legendary LOVE Park in Philadelphia. In: , January 20, 2018.
  15. A Brief History of Pat's Steaks. In: Pat's King of Steaks website. Retrieved May 6, 2014 .
  16. Chris Epting: The Birthplace Book: A Guide to Birth Sites of Famous People, Places, & Things . Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg 2009, ISBN 978-0-8117-4018-0 , pp. 81 ( limited preview in Google Book search).