Petroglyphs at Chaco Culture National Historical Park (left) photograph courtesy of the National Park Service. Coral reefs are protected natural resources at Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (right) photograph courtesy of the National Park Service.
Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
World Heritage Sites in the United States

Statue of Liberty National Monument
New York, New York
 
Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

An aerial view of Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty.
National Park Service

This World Heritage Site is a shining beacon of liberty to people around the globe. A gift from the people of France, the Statue of Liberty has welcomed millions of immigrants who arrived in the United States by sea.

The Statue of Liberty is a masterpiece of the human creative spirit. Its construction in Paris represents one of the greatest technical exploits of the 19th century. It continues to welcome immigrants at the entrance to New York harbor, and is directly and materially associated with an event of outstanding universal significance -- the populating of the United States, the melting pot of disparate peoples in the second half of the 19th century. The fact that the statue, whose funds were raised by international subscription and was designed in Europe by Frederic Bartholdi, strengthens the symbolic interest of this world-renowned work.

Some of the money to erect the statue was contributed by American schoolchildren. It is certain that for millions of immigrants who came to America in the 19th century seeking freedom, it was the fulfillment of their dreams. The sculptor intended his work to be an immense and impressive symbol of human liberty, and it is one of the most universal symbols of political freedom and democracy in the world.

Lady Liberty's original torch. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.Lady Liberty's original 1886 torch is on display inside
the Pedestal Lobby. The statue's current torch was added
in 1986.
National Park Service

“Liberty Enlightening the World” was extensively restored in time for the spectacular centennial of American independence on 4 July 1986. It has continued to inspire people around the world.

Liberty’s image and symbolic meanings have continually changed since her dedication on October 28, 1886. During the late 19th century, one of the largest periods of immigration in American history, Liberty stood as a “Mother of Exiles,” and provided thousands of immigrants with their first visual representation of America, liberty, and freedom. Throughout the 19th century, political instability, religious persecution, unstable economies, and vast unemployment prompted many Europeans to leave their homelands to take their chances on a better life in the United States. On the final stretch of their journey, as immigrants made their way into New York Harbor to the immigration station on Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty served as a colossal symbol of freedom and opportunity for all newcomers to the United States.

Liberty Island is best known for its role as the home of the Statue of Liberty. The island's history, however, extends much further into the past than that of the Statue. Over the centuries, Liberty Island has felt the presence of several different groups, including Native Americans, early colonists, and the Unite&d States Army.

Visitors may explore Liberty Island’s cultural history through a choice of ranger-led or self-guided tours of the Statue of Liberty and its surrounding grounds. From the lobby inside the statue’s pedestal, visitors can view the original torch, the Statue of Liberty Exhibit, and learn more about Liberty Island’s cultural significance. Take an elevator up the ten-story pedestal observatory that provides full circle views of New York harbor along with a close-up of Lady Liberty. Advanced reservations allow visitors access to the statue’s Crown. The statue grounds and pedestal are free to visit. Making reservations for the ferry to Liberty Island and access to the Crown is highly recommended because of the volume of visitors. Visitors can also tour Ellis Island where the Ellis Island immigration station's Main Building houses the Ellis Island Museum.

Plan your visit

Statue of Liberty National Monument, a World Heritage Site and unit of the National Park System, is located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor off Lower Manhattan, New York, NY. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. Statue of Liberty National Monument is open daily every day except Christmas, December 25, when it is closed. The park is accessible by Statue Cruises Ferry Service only. The National Park Service recommends planning your visit, making reservations and purchasing tickets prior to the day of your visit. For more information, visit the National Park Service Statue of Liberty National Monument website or call 212-363-3200.

Statue of Liberty National Monument is also featured in the National Park Service Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures Travel Itinerary. Statue of Liberty National Monument has been documented by the National Park Service’s Historic American Engineering Record.

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