Historic District - General Info.
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Savannah, GA is a city where you will want to do a lot of walking and take in the many unique sights that await you. A couple of places that should be high on your itinerary is Forsyth Park and a visit to the interior of the Cathedral, Saint John the Baptist (closes at 5:00p).
Savannah is an old city with a lot of history. It played both a strategic role and a tactical role in both the American War of Independence (1775–1783) and the American Civil War (1861-1865).
The Historic District is well suited to walking. There are plenty of sidewalks and many of the buildings, that date back to the 1800's, are best seen on foot. The Historical District is a rectangle bounded on the:
1) North side by the Savannah River,
2) South side by Forsyth Park,
3) West side by Martin Luther King Blvd, and
4) East side by East Broad Street.
It is approximately 15 blocks in height (North to South) and 11 blocks in width (West to East).
A good guidebook for walking the Historical District is the "Savannah Walking Tour & Guidebook". It is only $5.36 at Amazon and can also be purchased at many locations in Savannah. There are 4 tours described. If time permits, I would recommend doing 2 tours the first day and 2 tours a second day.
The Savannah Historic District is definitely historical. It is also the most visited area of Savannah. Many of the buildings date to the early 1800's and a few buildings were built in the 1700s.
The Historic District contains 22 beautiful squares within a half-square mile and each is like a small city park. Stately old homes and beautiful churches as well as unique shops and galleries surround the Squares. This layout was the product of General Oglethorpe's ingenious and brilliant mind. He had the first concept of an ideal city layout and it has not been replicated in the United States since. It all began with 4 Squares in 1733.
The five major squares along Bull Street are Monterey, Madison, Chippewa, Wright, and Johnson. They were designed to contain grand monuments and have been called Savannah's "Crown Jewels." Bull street splits the Historic District into East and West and extends directly from in front of City Hall all the way to Forsyth Park leading directly to the center of the Forsyth Fountain. So, unlike many of the older cities that evolved along horse and buggy trails, Savannah has a well laid out pattern that is both aesthetic and functional.
The 22 Squares are shaded by large oak trees covered in Spanish Moss. There are plenty of park benches and seats to relax and enjoy the unique ambiance of this old town. You will find beautiful blooms in March and April of each year. Be sure to visit the very prominent Forsyth Park at the Southern end of the Historical District that is about an hour walk from Bay Street on the North End. The centerpiece of Forsyth Park is the large Forsyth Fountain.