Battery Park

Battery Park (4)

Battery Park is the largest green area in the south of Manhattan, located in front of the port right on the edge of the Financial District. It is an open and very crowded space where you can enjoy great views of the bay and a nice walk around interesting monuments.

The park was named Battery Park due to the battery of defence canons that the English installed on the site to protect the city during the War of Independence. At that time, the land was a rocky island but, over time, the area that separated it from Manhattan was filling up and it became a public garden covering 10 hectares.

A walk in Battery Park is well worth it for the views of the the Hudson River and the nearby Statue of Liberty. A good option is to start the route at the Staten Island ferry dock and head north along the shore towards East Coast Memorial. On reaching the memorial, you will find the statue of an eagle safeguarding eight granite tombstones that list the names of eight North American soldiers who died in the Atlantic during World War II. We recommend climbing the steps of the monument for a fantastic view of the New York estuary.

If you look from left to right, first you will see Governor's Island, the former coastguard facilities. Then, in the distance, you will see the profile of Staten Island; followed by the unmistakable image of the Statue of Liberty and, next to it, Ellis Island, the gateway to the US for many immigrants. If you keep looking you, will make out the old train station at Liberty State Park, in Jersey City, and on clear days you might see the cranes at Port Elizabeth.

If you keep walking north, you will come to the statue of the Florentine merchant Giovanni Verrazano, who discovered New York Bay in 1524. In fact, from this point it is possible to see the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Brooklyn to Staten Island. Such a long bridge had to take the curvature of the earth into account.

To finish the walk, nothing better than to go to the north end of the park where Pier A is located. This is the oldest pier in New York and, until 1959, acted as the headquarters of the police and maritime fire brigade. Just above this building, a bell tower was built in 1919 and was the first monument to be erected in the US to honour the victims of World War I. 

And of course, along the way you will find Clinton Castle, which was erected in 1811 to defend the island from the British and became a national monument in 1946.

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