One city on my life bucket list was Savannah and, happily, I was able to cross it off my list this week. We decided to take a day trip for a ‘hop on and hop off’ trolley adventure of the Historic District. One of our guides called the 15-stop trolley loop an ‘appetizer’ for all that Savannah offers. That was very accurate. Our day trip did make us want to return for the full meal.
We were told it is America’s first planned city, ca. 1733, designed by General James Edward Oglethorpe. He designed neighborhoods around open squares that served as functional areas for communal activities. Today there are 24 park-like squares named after people or historical events with monuments and statues at the center.
Johnson Square, below, memorializes Revolutionary War hero, Major General Nathanael Greene. He and his son, George Washington Greene, were buried beneath the monument in 1902… after years of burial misplacement of the two in the Colonial Park Cemetery.
Chippewa Square seems to be well visited, made very popular by the Forrest Gump film. The bench where he sat during the movie was filmed here and the site attracts tourists who want to be photographed standing where the bench once was. At the center of the square is a statue of Oglethorpe, by none other than Daniel Chester French who hailed from our Exeter NH. Small, small world…
We did not physically visit any of the park squares on this trip but tailored this day to architecture and history…. and food, of course.
There are two basic periods of architecture we were told, Colonial and Victorian, with many styles within these periods of history. We gawked and stared open-mouthed through the rich architectural neighborhoods and restored buildings of the city.
Sometimes we had to look harder to see a little humor in architecture, like these eyes gazing out at us.
An unforgettable building was St. John the Baptist Cathedral, the Mother Church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah, that I thought rivaled cathedrals I’ve seen anywhere. Click on photos for full size.
Walking through the old Market was interesting for a bit of shopping, food, and photographing things like this old ghost ad on a building.
We ended our day very good note, happy to be among the 6 million who visit Savannah each year. Then….when we arrived home that evening, I turned on the telly only to see the Forest Gump movie was showing. Yes, I watched it from beginning to end and took special notice of the background scenery around Chippawa Square.