Discovery

Portraits of Charleston: A Walk through History

Belmond has a collection of luxury hotels worldwide, including Belmond Charleston Place. In celebrating our distinctive city, we produced something that translates the spirit of the city into an authentic and meaningful experience. Belmond Charleston Place knew exactly how it would capture the essence of Charleston, through some of the city’s greatest and most influential people.

Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the South, filled with a rich and unique history dating back to the 1700’s. Since then, many great people have blessed Charleston with their presence and helped to shape it into the city we know and love today.

To spotlight just a few of the notable people who greatly enriched the Holy City, Belmond Charleston Place hotel showcases the portraits of legendary characters. While some of these well-known individuals are current Charlestonians, many lived long ago; but their mark on Charleston still remains.

The second floor is outlined with images of these historic figures. However, this “hall of fame” not only contains portraits, but also provides a way to experience that person’s history today. Booklets can be found alongside the display, which give detailed backgrounds on each individual and a way to celebrate that character in Charleston.

Just to name a few:

Thomas Pinckney (portrait right) was born in Charleston and fought in both the American Revolution and the War of 1812. An influential political figure, Pickney served as the 36th Governor of South Carolina. The statesman died in Charleston and is buried at St.Philip’s Episcopal Church.

Experience it today: You can visit Thomas Pinckey’s grave at St. Philips Episcopal Church. This historic church also houses the oldest congregation in South Carolina. And during the civil war, its bells were melted down into confederate cannons.

Pat Conroy was a New York Times best selling author and one of Charleston’s favorite sons. His best known novels included: The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, and South of Broad. Conroy was a South Carolina Hall of Fame inductee and received the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor.

Experience it today: See historic Charleston through the eyes of Conroy and the characters of his novel with a South of Broad walking tour by Old Charleston Walking Tours.

Septima Poinsette Clark (portrait bottom right), a Charleston native, was an educator, civil rights activist and has been called the “Grandmother of the American Civil Rights Movement.” Dealing with inequalities in the school system led her to become active in the movement for civil rights.

Experience it today: You can learn more about Clark’s struggle by visiting the Avery Reasearch Center for African-American History and Culture at the College of Charleston.

See these three figures and more on the 2nd Floor of Belmond Charleston Place and walk in the footsteps of Charleston’s most legendary individuals for yourself.

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Discovery

Holy City Churches

While most call our dear city Charleston, others prefer one of its nicknames, Chucktown. But for many, the historic Southern city is referred to by another name: the Holy City. In the 1600s, the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina guaranteed settlers religious liberty, making the city a safe haven for people from all over Europe trying to escape religious prosecution. Out of the 13 colonies, laws in the Carolinas guaranteed individuals the widest measure of religious freedom. Today, more than 400 churches with their majestic steeples dot the city skyline, proving Charleston to be a spiritual mecca for any and all to partake in.

Take a stroll down the cobblestone streets of the historic district and explore all the Holy City has to offer. Just make sure to look up.

Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church – 110 Calhoun Street

Throughout its lifetime, Mother Emanuel has been a place of worship intertwined with history. The oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the South, the church was built in 1816 as a place of refuge for slaves and freedmen. From slave rebellions plotted in its sanctuary, to visits from civil rights icons such as Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Emanuel has been a cornerstone in the black community locally and nationally. On June 17, 2015, nine parishioners were slain, but the church continues to remain a symbol of hope and strength.

Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue – 90 Hassell Street 

Charleston is acknowledged as the birthplace of Reform Judaism in the United States. The city has the earliest documentation of Jewish people in the 1695 English settlement, and soon after, other Jews followed in pursuit of religious liberty in South Carolina. Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue is the oldest synagogue building in continuous use in the United States and is also neighbors with Belmond Charleston Place. The colonnaded temple is renowned as one of the country’s finest examples of Greek Revival architecture, a National Historic Landmark, and can be found on the National Register of Historic Places. Belmond Charleston Place can book private tours upon request.

First Baptist Church – 61 Church Street

Founded in in 1682, this church is the first First Baptist church in the South. While the house of worship may be in pristine state today, it is not shy to damage and natural disasters. It has endured destruction during the Civil War, the cyclone of 1885, the earthquake of 1886 and Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church – 71 Broad Street

Standing on the site of the first Anglican Church south of Virginia, St. Michael’s Church was built in 1680, making it the oldest church building in the city. The large, long double-pew in the center of the church was originally known as ‘The Governor’s Pew,’ and it is the one in which President George Washington sat when he attended in 1791 and Robert E. Lee in 1861. Today, the church is considered a National Historic Landmark, and continues to represent Ecclesiastical Law as it resides in its prominent position at the ‘Four Corners of Law.

Circular Congregational Church – 150 Meeting Street

Featuring seven great doors and 26 windows, Robert Mills, Charleston’s leading architect, designed this Pantheon-type building in 1695. It is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and as a National Historic Landmark. From its beginning the congregation challenged the established order, and this tradition has continued throughout their history. In the 1960s, the church took a stand for the integration of churches and in 2007, added a new “green” education building representing their commitment to environmental sustainability. The graveyard at the Circular Congregational Church is the city’s oldest burial grounds with monuments dating hundreds of years.
French Huguenot Church – 136 Church Street

Founded in 1681 by 45 French Huguenot refugees, the French Protestant Church of Charleston was the first of its kind in the Holy City. The Gothic Revival building features stucco over brick, ornamented with windows, buttresses, plus eye-catching decorative details. Truly, it is no wonder this church is found on the Historic National Register. While this architectural style was uncommon during the antebellum period in Charleston, the use of wrought iron and pink exterior reflects iconic Lowcountry charm. To this day, the French Huguenot Church is the only remaining independent Huguenot Church in the nation.

Explore the charming streets of Charleston and discover for yourself why it is called the Holy City.

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Discovery

Explore Charleston’s Picturesque Parks

Historic downtown Charleston offers no shortage of Instagram-worthy spots, including a variety of picturesque parks and outdoor spaces. Grab some essentials, a blanket and indulge in a leisurely picnic lunch or dinner at one of Charleston’s prettiest parks.

Just a seven minute walk from Belmond Charleston Place, listen to the bells of St. Michaels from Washington Park, while surrounded by a beautiful gated garden. This has been a favorite gathering spot of Charlestonians for more than 300 years and features beautiful statues, from historic to whimsical.

Sit under the gentle mist of the Pineapple Fountain at Waterfront Park, which is just a twelve minute walk from the hotel. This city park features private alcoves, flower gardens, stone pathways, a pier with wooden swings and stunning views of Fort Sumter and Charleston harbor.

The Battery, one mile from the hotel, is located alongside the Charleston harbor. This beautiful shaded sanctuary filled with multiple monuments including Revolutionary and Civil War-era cannons and statues commemorating individuals notorious during the 18th century.

Relax under shaded trees and surround yourself with architecture dating back to the 19th century, just a ten minute walk from the hotel. The Cistern Yard is the core of the College of Charleston campus and home to national landmarks such as Randolph Hall. Built in 1828, this monument is one of the oldest buildings still in use in the U.S..

Enjoy the urban green space of Marion Square, a quick ten minute walk from the hotel, once used as a military marching ground before the Revolutionary War. This park, which hosts a Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, is the perfect spot to appreciate monuments such as the Holocaust memorial.

Amid the ruins of the old Charleston Museum and one mile from the hotel, Cannon Park provides a historic, stunning atmosphere. The remaining columns of the old museum create a beautiful focal point in this park designed by Frederic Law Olmstead, the designer of Central Park in New York City and the grounds at the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Staying at Belmond Charleston Place? Let us pack a picnic for you; A variety of menu options await. And please use the map below to guide you at your leisure.

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