The Old North Church, located in the North End neighborhood of the city, is one of the most famous historic attractions in Boston. The church is the oldest among all the Boston churches that still has an active congregation, and it is also a National Historic Landmark. Built in 1723, the Old North Church in Boston is primarily known for the famous events surrounding Paul Revere's ride on April 18, 1775.
On that fateful day, Paul Revere instructed several Boston patriots to hang two lanterns up in the steeple of the Old North Church. The two lanterns were meant to warn the patriot forces across the Charles River that the British Regulars were taking boats across the river instead of traveling over land. After the lantern warning was set up, the message was also carried to nearby towns by riders on horseback, including Revere, and by the ringing of church bells throughout the area. However, the lantern signal at the Old North Church continued as a back-up warning in case the riders were captured on their way to warn the other troops.
The church was the second Anglican church among all the Boston churches, and today it is officially known as Christ Church in the City of Boston. Today visitors can view the historical interior of the church as well as listen to the ringing of the oldest church bells in North America. The eight bells are rung generally every Saturday morning, and visitors can contact the church for details on other times the bells are rung. The interior of the Old North Church in Boston is more elaborate than typical Puritan church, as it was constructed to appeal to the tastes of the British colonial elite of the time.
The chandeliers were imported from England, and the pipe organ is another element of the church that would have been frowned on by the ascetic Puritans of the time. The Old North Church, unlike more modern Boston churches, has box pews. Members of the congregation would have to pay an amount of money for a pew if they wanted to worship at the church. The more desirable pews cost more money, and therefore the placement of different families reflected the social status of the members of the congregation.
Visitors to the Old North Church in Boston today can also visit the gardens surrounding the church. The gardens include an eighteenth-century garden, the St Francis of Assisi garden, which includes a chapel, the Washington Memorial Garden that connects to the Freedom Trail, and the Third Lantern Garden. For the most scenic visit, the Old North Church can be accessed from the Freedom Trail, through the Paul Revere Mall and past the Paul Revere statue, and across Unity Street. For visitors continuing on the Freedom Trail, going further uphill on Hull Street will lead you towards Copp's Hill Burying Ground, one of the oldest historical graveyards in Boston. Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about the Revolutionary War, a visit to Bunker Hill, further down the Freedom Trail across the Charlestown Bridge, will give you a glimpse into one of the most important battles during the war.