Brigitte Klug

Written by Brigitte Klug

Modified & Updated: 06 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Baltimore, Maryland, is a city steeped in history, boasting a rich tapestry of historical landmarks that offer a glimpse into the past. From the iconic Fort McHenry, which inspired the national anthem, to the striking Washington Monument and the stately USS Constellation, Baltimore’s historical sites are as diverse as they are captivating. Each landmark holds within its walls a story waiting to be discovered, making Baltimore a haven for history enthusiasts and curious visitors alike. Join us as we delve into 11 fascinating facts about some of Baltimore’s most renowned historical landmarks, shedding light on the city’s enduring legacy and the events that have shaped it into the vibrant metropolis it is today.

Key Takeaways:

  • Baltimore is home to historical landmarks that predate those in Washington, D.C., including the Washington Monument and the USS Constellation, offering a unique glimpse into American history.
  • From inspiring the national anthem to housing renowned museums and cultural institutions, Baltimore’s historical landmarks provide a rich and diverse tapestry of experiences for visitors to explore and enjoy.
Table of Contents

The Washington Monument in Baltimore predates the one in Washington, D.C.

Yes, you read that right! The Washington Monument in Baltimore was actually completed more than 50 years before its more famous counterpart in the nation’s capital. Built between 1815 and 1829, this 178-foot tall neoclassical structure stands proudly in the Mount Vernon Place and offers visitors the chance to climb its 227 steps for a breathtaking view of the city.

The USS Constellation is the last surviving Civil War-era vessel.

Stepping aboard the USS Constellation is like stepping back in time. This historic sloop-of-war, launched in 1854, played a significant role in the Civil War and is now a museum ship docked in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Visitors can explore its decks, learn about its fascinating history, and even participate in hands-on activities related to life at sea during the 19th century.

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum is the birthplace of American railroading.

As the birthplace of American railroading, the B&O Railroad Museum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and train lovers alike. The museum showcases an impressive collection of locomotives, rolling stock, and railroad artifacts, offering a captivating journey through the evolution of rail transportation in the United States. From the early 19th-century steam engines to the modern era, this landmark provides a comprehensive look at the impact of railroads on the nation’s development.

Fort McHenry inspired the national anthem of the United States.

History buffs and patriots will be fascinated to learn that Fort McHenry, a star-shaped coastal fort, played a pivotal role in the War of It was during the Battle of Baltimore that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which later became the national anthem of the United States. Visitors can explore the fort, its exhibits, and the surrounding park, gaining a deeper appreciation for this iconic moment in American history.

Edgar Allan Poe’s final resting place is in Baltimore.

Baltimore holds a special place in literary history as the final resting place of renowned author Edgar Allan Poe. His grave, located in the Westminster Hall and Burying Ground, attracts admirers of his macabre tales and poetry from around the world. The nearby Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum offers a glimpse into the life and works of this influential writer, making it a must-see for literature enthusiasts.

The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Located in East Baltimore, the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum is a unique institution dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of African-American achievements. Through lifelike wax figures and immersive exhibits, the museum brings to life the stories of prominent figures in black history, from Harriet Tubman to Thurgood Marshall. It serves as an important educational resource and a powerful tribute to the contributions of African Americans throughout the centuries.

The Baltimore Museum of Art houses an extraordinary collection of artworks.

Art aficionados will find a treasure trove of masterpieces at the Baltimore Museum of Art. From ancient mosaics to contemporary works, the museum’s diverse collection spans centuries and cultures, featuring renowned artists such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh. With its ever-expanding array of exhibits and programs, the museum continues to inspire and engage visitors with the beauty and significance of visual art.

The Maryland Science Center offers hands-on learning and interactive exhibits.

At the Maryland Science Center, curiosity knows no bounds. This dynamic institution provides a stimulating environment for visitors of all ages to explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, and an IMAX theater. From space exploration to the natural world, the center’s engaging displays and educational programs make science come alive in captivating ways.

The Peabody Institute is one of the oldest conservatories in the United States.

Music enthusiasts will be delighted to discover the Peabody Institute, a renowned conservatory that has been nurturing musical talent since With its distinguished faculty, world-class performances, and comprehensive music education programs, the institute continues to uphold its legacy as a leading institution for the study and appreciation of music, attracting students and audiences from around the globe.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a masterpiece of neoclassical architecture.

Stepping into the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a transcendent experience. Designed by renowned architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, this architectural gem stands as a testament to the beauty of neoclassical design and the enduring spirit of faith. Its grand interior and historical significance make it a revered landmark in Baltimore’s cultural and religious landscape.

The Inner Harbor is a vibrant waterfront destination with a rich history.

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a bustling hub of activity, offering visitors a delightful blend of entertainment, dining, and sightseeing. From the iconic USS Constellation to the lively promenade, the area’s maritime heritage and modern attractions create a captivating atmosphere that beckons both locals and tourists alike. Whether taking a leisurely stroll, enjoying a delicious meal, or embarking on a harbor cruise, the Inner Harbor provides a memorable experience for all who visit.


Baltimore, Maryland is a city steeped in history, with a wealth of fascinating historical landmarks that offer a glimpse into the past. From the iconic Fort McHenry, which inspired the national anthem, to the striking Washington Monument in Mount Vernon, Baltimore’s historical landmarks are a testament to the city’s rich heritage. Visitors can explore the cobblestone streets of Fell’s Point, tour the impressive USS Constellation, and marvel at the stunning architecture of the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of bygone eras, Baltimore’s historical landmarks are sure to captivate and inspire.


What are some must-visit historical landmarks in Baltimore, Maryland?
Some must-visit historical landmarks in Baltimore include Fort McHenry, the Washington Monument, Fell’s Point, USS Constellation, and the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower.

Are there guided tours available for exploring historical landmarks in Baltimore?
Yes, there are guided tours available for many historical landmarks in Baltimore, offering insightful and informative experiences for visitors.

Can visitors access all historical landmarks in Baltimore year-round?
Most historical landmarks in Baltimore are open year-round, but it’s recommended to check the specific operating hours and any seasonal closures before planning your visit.

Are there educational programs available at Baltimore’s historical landmarks?
Many historical landmarks in Baltimore offer educational programs and resources, making them ideal destinations for school field trips and learning experiences.

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