Williamsburg in Virginia

Friday, 1 April 2016 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Architecture, General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Governor's Palace © Larry Pieniazek/cc-by-2.5

Governor’s Palace © Larry Pieniazek/cc-by-2.5

Williamsburg is an independent city in Virginia, with a population of 15,000. Located on the Virginia Peninsula, Williamsburg is in the northern part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. It is bordered by James City County and York County. Williamsburg was founded in 1632 as Middle Plantation as a fortified settlement on high ground between the James and York rivers. The city served as the capital of the Colony of Virginia from 1699 to 1780 and was the center of political events in Virginia leading to the American Revolution. The College of William & Mary, established in 1693, is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and the only one of the nine colonial colleges located in the South; its alumni include three U.S. presidents as well as many other important figures in the nation’s early history. Along with nearby Jamestown and Yorktown, Williamsburg forms part of the Historic Triangle, which attracts more than four million tourists each year. Modern Williamsburg is also a college town, inhabited in large part by William & Mary students and staff.

The tourist volume of Colonial Williamsburg has attracted many other related businesses to the area. Notable among these was Anheuser-Busch, which established large operations in James City County and York County just outside the city. The company operates a large brewery there. The company also used to operate two theme parks near the brewery, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Water Country USA; however, both properties were sold to private investors following Anheuser-Busch’s takeover by foreign brewer InBev in 2010. Anheuser-Busch also previously operated a commerce park, McLaw’s Circle, and Kingsmill on the James a gated residential neighborhood that contains a resort of the same name. Williamsburg contains one outlet mall, Williamsburg Premium Outlets. A second outlet mall, Williamsburg Outlet Mall, closed in December 2013. Williamsburg Pottery Factory also contains outlet stores.

Farmers' Market in Merchants Square © Smash the Iron Cage/cc-by-sa-4.0 Capitol © Smash the Iron Cage/cc-by-sa-4.0 St. George Tucker House © flickr.com - Harvey Barrison/cc-by-sa-2.0 © Sebastian Hirsch/cc-by-sa-3.0 A map of Colonial Williamsburg at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center © Smash the Iron Cage/cc-by-sa-4.0 Governor's Palace © Larry Pieniazek/cc-by-2.5
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A map of Colonial Williamsburg at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center © Smash the Iron Cage/cc-by-sa-4.0
As with most of Virginia (the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. metro area being the notable exception), Williamsburg is most often associated with the larger American South. People who have grown up in the Hampton Roads area have a unique Tidewater accent which sounds different from a stereotypical Southern accent. Vowels have a longer pronunciation than in a regular southern accent. For example, “house” is pronounced “hoose” in the Tidewater accent. However, due to the strong military presence in the Tidewater Area, the Tidewater accent has been slowly dying out for years.

Williamsburg is perhaps best known for its tourist and historical points of interest, the centerpiece of which is Colonial Williamsburg, which is essentially a living history museum, depicting the lifestyles and culture of the 18th century colonial period in American history. Major points of interest in this historic district include the Virginia’s first capitol building, the Governor’s Palace, Bruton Parish Church (the oldest continually operating church in the United States), the Peyton Randolph House (home of Peyton Randolph, the first President of Continental Congress and rumored to be haunted) and The College of William & Mary.

Other highlights in the city include The Williamsburg Winery (Virginia’s largest winery), the Williamsburg Botanical Garden, the National Center for State Courts and the Virginia Musical Museum. The 200-acre (0.81 km2) Williamsburg Pottery Factory shopping complex visited by 3 million people annually is located at nearby Lightfoot, Virginia. “Artistic” and ornamental items are sold at the Market Square shops adjacent to the colonial area, and at many stores on Richmond Road. Presidents Park was an educational attraction that displayed outdoor statue heads of all 43 presidents, each one accompanied by a descriptive biographical plaque. However, in the 2010, Presidents Park closed due to financial issues.

Read more on VisitWilliamsburg.com, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, ColonialWilliamsburg.com, nps.gov – Colonial Parkway, Wikipedia Colonial Williamsburg, Julie Casey – Williamsburg, Wikivoyage Williamsburg and Wikipedia Williamsburg (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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