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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Discovery

Charleston Farmers Market

Start your Saturday morning off like a local by walking up King Street from the hotel to the marvelous Farmers Market. Charleston’s Farmers Market is open every Saturday, from 8:00am until 2:00pm, during the months of April-November at Marion Square. Experience one of the Holy City’s most beloved events featuring locally grown produce, the best food vendors in town and indigenous artists.

Upon crossing over Calhoun Street, large white tents are visible and beam in the Charleston sun. Vendors set up along the beautiful walkway that surrounds Marion Square while market goers set up picnics in the grassy sanctuary in the middle. Saturday mornings are certainly full of energy from the people, to the live music, to the dogs, and to the overall excitement of being outside with the Lowcountry’s finest creations.

First things first, it is a must to get a spot in the renowned Crepe line. Don’t be alarmed if the line looks intimidating, we assure you it moves quickly and will ultimately be worth it! During the wait for the authentic French made-to-order crepe, try homemade squeezed lemonade or a fruit smoothie from The Juice Joint.

After eating, walk through the different tents and admire the resourceful art and all the vibrant colors of vegetables that jump from the tables. Red juicy tomatoes, stalks of leafy greens, rich yellow corn, sweet blueberries, and deep purple beets are just a few favorites certain to be at the Market.

The Charleston Farmers Market will be open this year from April 13th until November 30th.

Concierge tip: Wear a hat, wear your shades, bring cash and bring your recyclable bag.

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