Often referred to as "the home of free speech" and the "Cradle of Liberty," Faneuil Hall hosted America's first Town Meeting. The Hall's vital role in revolutionary politics had not been part of its original plans, but it became home to an intricate collection of events that shaped the nation's history. Built by wealthy merchant Peter Faneuil as a center of commerce in 1741, this is where the Sons of Liberty proclaimed their dissent against Royal oppression. Faneuil Hall has served as an open forum meeting hall and marketplace for more than 270 years and has continued to provide a forum for debate on the most consequential issues of the day.
It was at Faneuil Hall in 1764 that Americans first protested against the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act, setting the doctrine that would come to be known as "no taxation without representation." Gatherings to protest the Townshend Acts, the Redcoat occupation, and the Tea Act would follow.
THE GRASSHOPPER The most famous weathervane in Boston is Faneuil Hall’s golden grasshopper. Peter Faneuil commissioned the grasshopper from acclaimed craftsman Shem Drowne, whose weathervane also tops the Old North Church. Tradition has it that the weathervane was used during the War of 1812 to spot spies. Anyone who did not know the answer to the question "what is on top of Faneuil Hall?" in those days invited suspicion.
LAND OF THE FREE Twenty four times a year, between 300 to 500 new citizens take the Oath of Allegiance at Faneuil Hall and are sworn in as new citizens.
SHOP-TIL YOU DROP Don’t mix up historic Faneuil Hall with Faneuil Hall Marketplace – the bustling commercial center located just behind historic Faneuil Hall. The series of restored 19th Century buildings is the most visited location in Boston.
Freedom Trail Foundation tours that feature this site:
Walk Into History Tour
Walk Into History Tours — North End
Historic Holiday Stroll
African-American Patriots Tour
Historic Pub Crawl
Pirates & Patriots Tour
Faneuil Hall - Boston National Historical Park
Open Daily 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day
Historical talks every thirty minutes, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.