Bunker Hill Monument

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Bunker Hill Monument
Photograph: Shutterstock

This 221ft granite obelisk commemorates the first major battle of the American Revolution. Technically speaking, it didn't go well for America: after a bloody conflict, the rebels had to retreat and the British declared victory. But England sustained severe casualties—almost half of its 2,200 troops were killed, compared to 440 American soldiers—and the fight emboldened the colonists. The legendary battle's name is actually a misnomer, as much of the fighting took place on Breed's Hill, the site of the monument—Bunker Hill is nearby, visible from the top of Breed's Hill. This isn't the first structure to commemorate the event; an 18ft wooden pillar with a gilt urn was first erected in 1794, and the current tower wasn't finished until 1842.

Visitors can listen to free talks from park rangers, or climb the monument's 294 steps (a brisk ascent takes five minutes) for a breathtaking view of Boston. In front of the tower is a statue of Colonel William Prescott, an American officer whose instructions to troops in the Battle of Bunker Hill—"Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!"—have become part of American military lore. Across the street is the new Bunker Hill Museum, part of the monument's $3.7 million restoration project, completed in spring 2007, which features displays of weaponry, a 360-degree painting of the battle and an enormous diorama of fighting soldiers.


Venue name: Bunker Hill Monument
Address: Monument Square
Breed's Hill

Opening hours: 9am–5pm daily
Transport: Community College T
Price: Free
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