Last Updated on September 2, 2022 by Left Lane
Who is the Statue of Liberty 🗽? She is known by many as Lady Liberty, but where did the inspiration behind her design come from?
Lady Liberty actually derives her lineage from the Ancient Roman Goddess “Libertas”. With temples erected in her honor in ancient times reported as far back as 240 B.C.
To the Ancient Romans, Libertas was the very personification of Liberty. She became the symbol of Roman politics during the time of Julius Caesar. With her face being minted on ancient Roman coins.
Libertas was recognized in ancient times as a symbol of Freedom. Because she was often depicted with a Pileus in her right hand on ancient coins.
A Pileus, is a soft hat, generally made of felt. That was traditionally worn by freed slaves. Especially during the time of the Ancient Greeks, and Romans.
The inspiration for the crown upon Lady Liberty’s head. Is derived from that of a ancient Syrian Sun god adopted by the Romans. The Roman Sun god Sol Invictus.
Sol Invictus represented the Unconquered Sun. Around the 3rd Century A.D. Sol Invictus was made the Primary Deity of the Roman Empire.
A MONUMENTAL GIFT
The Statue of Liberty was created by a French Artist Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. He was well known for his paintings, and sculptures. He first came up with the idea to create Lady Liberty in 1870.
His most famous work became the Copper Sculpture known as “Liberty Enlightening the World”. The official name of the Statue of Liberty. Built in 1886, the Statue itself was designed to a height of 151’ feet tall.
With the interior metal frame supporting the colossal sculpture being made by the world famous Civil Engineer. Who was also behind the creation of the Eiffel Tower in Paris France, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel.
The Architect behind the Pedestal design of the Statue of Liberty was Richard Morris Hunt. He used the 11 point star shaped walls of the old decommissioned Fort Wood as the foundation. Which is approximately 65’ feet tall.
Then he built a 89’ foot tall stone pedestals on top, which was designed to be a flat topped, short pyramid. He borrowed architectural designs from the Greeks, Romans, and Aztecs.
With the combined Statue height, foundation height, and pedestal height. The Statue of Liberty comes in at a Colossal 305’ feet tall!
The Meaning of Freedom
At the feet of the Statue of Liberty, lay a broken chain, and shackles. From which her feet have been freed, as she proceeds to walk away, stepping over the chains.
The broken shackle, and chains are rich in symbolism. They represent the very reason behind the creation of the Statue of Liberty.
On December 18th, 1865 the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution, which was passed by Congress. Which was backed by Abraham Lincoln before his death. It was declared law, effectively abolishing slavery in the United States of America.
The 13 Amendment was backed, and signed by 27 of the current 36 states, which formed the United States at that time in 1865. With slavery ending in the United States, this caught the interest of Edouard Rene de Laboulaye.
Edouard Rene de Laboulaye – was a French Politician, and Law Professor. He was also the leader of the Anti Slavery Society in France. Which had first abolished slavery in 1794, only to be brought back again 8 years later by Napoleon Bonaparte.
In the year 1848 France succeeded in abolishing slavery for the second time in their countries history permanently. The United States finally followed suit, and abolished slavery itself in 1865.
The 13th Amendment
Edouard Rene de Laboulaye was happy to hear this news. He declared that a monument should be presented to the Americans, from the French. His declaration, made in 1865 became the driving force behind Frederic Auguste Bartholdi’s inspiration to create the Statue of Liberty.
A short 21 years later with a lot of planning, and promotional trips to the U.S… To raise funding, in both the U.S., and France. He succeeded in gathering together an all-star team.
Some of the best Artists, Architects, and Engineers of their time came together in a Dual Country alliance. To create the Colossal Monument, and the most famous sculpture in the United States of America. That now stands on Liberty Island, formerly known as Bedloe Island.
A Family Vacation
I personally had the pleasure of viewing the Statue of Liberty several times throughout the years. As my Father was born, and raised in New York. He first took me to see the Statue of Liberty as a little kid, during a summer vacation to visit family.
I still remember to this day, the impression left upon me as a child seeing such a colossal statue. The symbol of a nation, the representation of Freedom Looming amongst the Skyline of the City of Concrete.
For even more Information, and History on the Statue of Liberty, visit the National Park Service’s website for Lady Liberty. To Visit now, and learn more Click Here.
To plan your very own trip to see The Statue of Liberty. You can reserve your spot aboard the Ferry to Liberty Island, and purchase Tickets by Clicking Here.
Want to see another World Famous Statue that I visited? Check out my other article Right Here
The Roving Gypsy®
Thanks for reading my Travel Blog, I hope you enjoyed this walk back through the history of the Statue of Liberty, as much as I did. Like what you read, & want more, or have a suggestion for me? Share, Follow, and Comment to let me know.