Friday, June 3, 2011

Charleston ... living history

Charleston SC Skyline from the Harbor    click on picture to 'imbiggen'

Often called the Holy City because of the vast number of churches here, you can see two of the oldest here in the skyline photo.  The white one on the left is St. Michael's and that is St. Phillip's on the right.  It's said that the old 'red light' district was located where it was because it was the only street in the city where you couldn't see a steeple and so the 'eye of God' wasn't looking down on you.

And for all that the good Christian folk of the Southern Bible belt would like that to be the way everybody viewed Charleston, it must be be remembered that Charleston was a port city from the very beginning.  Sailors are more well known for their ability to swill copious amounts of alcohol than they are for their piety.  It's also a college town.  That being the case Charleston has an equal, if not greater reputation as a party town.  It's been said that Charleston is an historic city with a drinking problem ... but I've seen T shirts in the shops downtown that say no, it's a party town with a history problem ;)

The reason some consider the 'historic' part a problem is because if you happen to own a building in the historic part of the city, you can't so much as paint your shutters without permission from the BAR (Board of Architectural Review ... I think).  They take their history serious here, but it does make for some fabulous sight seeing.

 The Provost Building.  Among other things it was used as a dungeon where they incarcerated pirates.  It's also where Charleston's Tea Party (not so big or famous as Boston's) was launched from.

The Customs House

St. Phillips Church bathed in the golden rays of sunset.  It has an awesome old graveyard, as does St. Phillips.  Many of the gravestone shots I post from time to time come from one or the other.

I can, and have, spend all day walking around just looking at the old buildings

The Big Guns

The best part though is when you get to the Battery. These cannons were collected from the Cival and Revolutionay Wars and placed around the park.  The little land mass that's barely visable in this photo that the cannon is pointed toward is Fort Sumpter.

On East Battery and on up Bay St. are all the old Antebellum mansions.  I ooh and aah and snap pictures.  They are just so beautiful, and it seems each has it's own story.  There are walking tours, and carriage tours, garden tours and pub tours, and haunted tours ... just about any type of tour you can imagine and they will all give you interesting bits of history. 


Tour lore has it that when this house was being built the husband wanted one style, the wife another.  They couldn't agree, but being very wealthy they decided they could have both.  It's called the Compromise House

This is the DeSaussure House, located right on the Battery where Mary Boykin Chestnut watched the first shots fired in the Cival War (or, as it's known in the South, the war of Northern Aggression) and wrote her Diaries.  A Diary from Dixie, is about a southern woman's perspective of the events and people of the Civil War.  I found it on the internet ... fascinating reading.

And there you have it, a virtual mini tour of Charleston, and a new look at the theme 'Well aged'.

 Go visit Carmi @ Written Ink to see more on this theme, or add your own interpretation.


  1. It is a very pretty city. My uncle lives there.

  2. Wonderful pics - did you take them - they are just gorgeous!

    Now I know why my Aunt & Uncle love visiting there so much. :)

  3. I LOVE the old buildings and what amazing architecture. You live in an extremely beautiful city with such a rich history, never a dull moment from the sounds of it. Your photos are stunning! I love the Compromise House, that's priceless, now why can't we all compromise so well! Oh right... most of us don't have that kind of money! lol

  4. Fabulous!
    Makes me want to get on a plane and be a tour-ist.

  5. I loved living in Charleston for 2.5 years. It was a beautiful city. I worked right off the harbor and my lunch and breaks were spent watching dolphins mostly. If you ever have a chance to the full moon sail boat tour. It's so worth it.

  6. @ OT - It really is.

    @ Skippy Mom - Thanks, glad you like them. All pictures on my blog are taken by me unless otherwise indicated and credit given. Graphics, LOL cats, De-motivational funnies and vids are found on the web ... and liberated.

    @ Darlin - I can walk around just look at the buildings all day and never get bored. They really are beautiful.

    @ Possum - If you ever do give me a holler.

    @ Barb - I'm actually in Summmerville and don't get down by the water much. I haven't seen many dolphins, that would be really cool. Did a Harbor sail once that I really liked but that Full Moon sail sounds heavenly.

  7. Sally - fantastic post! I so enjoyed the photos, and your interesting comments woven through them. It looks like a great place to visit - and to live.
    My favourite shot is the 'golden' church - just stunning.


  8. I lived in Columbia (not so pretty) for a few years and loved visiting Charleston. The markets were great. Loved all the wrought iron gates on the old houses. AND they have the best shrimp and grits anywhere!

  9. Beautiful city. I love old churches. That one in particular is so photogenic. I just don't step inside one, as I assume I'd burst into flames.

  10. Gorgeous city.
    Gorgeous architecture.

    Day=brightened. <3

  11. Wow! You did a remarkable job on this post. I've seen tourist sites that don't come close to what you did.
    Good Job.

  12.'s been a while...
    i'm trying to get back in the swing of things...

    this is a great post! beautiful city...and your pictures are terrific...i love old buildings...AND south carolina! thanks too...for all the interesting facts...

    kinda reminds me of Savannah.....

  13. love that you can wander around and see these awesome buildings...

    such intricate detail...

    and some classic lines...

  14. Gorgeous city. I hope to one day make a visit and see all the beautiful architecture.

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