Thursday, July 19, 2012

Carriage Ride

Another thing we did while in Charleston was what almost every visitor to Charleston does: we took a carriage tour. I had been on one before the last time I was in Charleston, which believe it or not, was well over five years ago at this point. The carriage tour is a great way to see the city though and to hear some history about famous houses and people throughout the past.

We saw lots of pretty churches...the first one is St. Michael's Episcopal Church, a National Historic Landmark and the oldest church in Charleston. The second one below, St. Philip's Church and another National Historic Landmark, is particularly interesting as it sits atop the highest hill in Charleston. The hill rises about 5 whole feet from the carriage location to the base of the church, which sits 16 feet above sea level. Apparently, the earthquake of 1886 caused the spire to lean 3 degrees to the left, as it stands today (all according to our guide).

Among other things we saw on the tour were numerous beautiful porches (called piazzas in Charleston), famous homes, and paraphernalia from the Civil War that decorate the yards of those who dug them up gardening in the years since. For example, if a person discovered a Civil War shell in their yard while gardening (not uncommon, apparently), they had to call the bomb squad to ensure it was disabled and then depending on whether it was union or confederate, could either keep it or had to return it to the government. I think the best part of the carriage ride is learning the little tid-bits of history that you would never hear otherwise, and that it gives you direction for what to see and where to go on foot when you've got the time. 

1 comment:

maggie said...

I want to just go gardening in Charleston so I can bring home a piece of the Civil War! That is amazing to think about! Oh, and that church makes me a little nervous..