If you are traveling to Petersburg, it is a great idea to stop in at one of the Petersburg
Visitors Centers, situated in Old Towne, and Carson. At these centers you can find all the information needed on things to do and see in the historic town of Petersburg from maps to accommodation information.
Petersburg has seven historical districts encompassing over 6,500 acres of land and includes over 700 buildings. Residents and visitors can take a leisurely walk or drive through any of the historic districts and view homes, buildings and other structures that date from 1750-1949.
Blandford Church is Petersburg's oldest standing building, dating back to 1734, and is a memorial to the Southern soldiers who died during the Civil War. Buried on the grounds is General William Phillips, the highest-ranking British officer to be buried in North America. Fifteen Tiffany stained-glass windows were contributed in order to memorialize the different states in the Confederacy. There are over 30,000 soldiers buried in the Blandford Cemetery.
A must see while in Petersburg is the Petersburg National Battlefield Park. The park, located between Petersburg and Hopewell, is the site of one of the Civil War's fiercest battles. During the battle, coal miners dug underground and strategically placed explosives across the southern lines. When the explosives were detonated, the result was "The Crater," a longstanding reminder of the battle that had occurred.
Being one of the oldest cities in Virginia, dating back to 1750, there is a lot of history. That history is kept alive with the many museums that you will find throughout the city. There are five museums in Petersburg, each displaying different aspects of Petersburgs rich history.
Siege Museum is located on W. Bank Street. Built in 1845, the Siege Museum, a tobacco/cotton auction house, is now a door to the past depicting how residents were affected by the Siege of Petersburg during the Civil War. Residents' lives were dramatically changed during the Civil War, and even more so during the Siege of Petersburg. Food became a necessity that became difficult to purchase, as residents had to pay high prices for foods.
Centre Hill Mansion stands as the most magnificent home in Petersburg. The home is an architectural illustration, displaying decorative arts, woodwork, and past-time furnishings. Not everything worth seeing is above ground. In the basement lies a service tunnel that connects the work area of the home to the city below.
The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is a $10.5 million, 25,000 square-foot facility designed to appeal to visitors of all ages and interest levels. Newcomers to Civil War history find the museum's presentation very compelling. The National Museum begins with an engaging audio-visual tour that has the visitor select a soldier to guide them through the tour. At the end of the tour, the real life fate of your soldier is revealed, making the experience of the Civil War soldier a very personal one.
For more information on activities, dining, lodging and tourist attractions please contact the Petersburg Visitors Center at (804) 733-2400 or 1-800-368-3595.
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