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Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama. The second largest city in Alabama, it is located on the Alabama River in Montgomery County (of which it is the seat) in south central part of the state. Montgomery is notable for its association with the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement.
Located on the
Alabama River in the center of the state, Montgomery is a thriving city with an
impressive amount of history and distinctly southern style of living. The city
is filled with culture and history, but the passage of time is gracefully slow
and easy, in the southern style.
Montgomery is a cosmopolitan city. From its famous Shakespeare festival to its
symphony orchestra to the F. Scott Fitzgerald Museum, there are activities of
substance that are culturally significant. Visitors should check with the Arts
Council before coming so they can plan ahead as to which of the many activities
they will try to attend.
In the 1860s,
Montgomery was part of the Confederacy and the first Confederate White House
still stands. Montgomery is justifiably proud of its history, and the many
aspects of that history have united to form a strong cultural identity.
Montgomery's Confederate Trail Itinerary covers a fascinating route from the
State Capitol, past many buildings connected with that time in history, ending
at the Confederate prison and cemetery.
Montgomery's is one of a few state capitol
buildings designated a National Historic Landmark.
Known as the
birthplace of the Confederacy and of the Civil Rights movement,
The Alabama State Capitol is where Jefferson Davis
took the oath of office as President of the Confederate States of America and
where the Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights March ended with Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. delivering a moving speech from the bottom of its steps. The historic
Senate and House of Representatives Chambers, the old Supreme Court Chambers and
several official offices have all been restored to their Civil War-era and
The Hank Williams Memorial
honors the country singer, who is perhaps best known for his ballad, “Your
Cheatin' Heart.” The memorial is downtown in the Oakwood Cemetery Annex
. Weekdays, the W.A. Gayle Planetarium on Forest Ave., presents sky
shows and science programs.
Martin Luther King, Jr. preached in Montgomery from 1954 to 1960, and there is a
monument to the Civil Rights movement.
Completed in 1989, the Civil
Rights Memorial stands in the front plaza of the Southern Poverty Law Center,
400 Washington Ave., as a monument to those who died in the struggle for racial
equality. The memorial features the top of a circular marble table covered with
a thin sheet of flowing water and is inscribed with dates of key events and
names of people involved in the civil rights movement
In Old Alabama Town,
costumed interpreters guide visitors through life in
the 19th and early 20th centuries in a fascinating 4-block “town.” There
is the opportunity to over 40 buildings from schoolhouses to cotton gins
and experience life as an Alabamian in the state’s infancy.
Maxwell Air Force Base,
where the Wright Brothers' Flight School once stood, is the site of the Air
University, the Air Force's center of professional military education.
Trolleys travel through the downtown area, providing transportation to
Montgomery government buildings, historical sites, the Riverfront Amphitheatre
and Riverwalk Stadium, home to the Class AA Montgomery Biscuits. The trolleys
run continually from 9-6, Monday through Saturday for ease of transportation in
reaching the city attractions.
Montgomery offers several parks in which to enjoy a
family picnic. Chief among these is Blount Cultural Park, with its 300 acres of
hills, lakes, and culture. Then take a walk to the Montgomery Museum of
Fine Arts or the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Theatre and Shakespeare Gardens.
The highlight of the year in Montgomery is Jubilee
CityFest which takes place during Memorial Day Weekend.
CityFest appeals to a diverse crowd by offering the best of just
about every genre of music including pop, country, alternative, zydeco, blues,
jazz, folk, gospel, oldies and classic rock. Other Jubilee CityFest attractions
include KidsFest, ArtFest, Symphony Pops Concert, Jubilee Run, "Thunder Over The
River" fireworks and a Sunrise Celebration Service. It is easy to see why
Montgomery is such a popular vacation destination at any time of year!