When I travel to see family in the South East there are a variety of airports within driving distance. Its a shell game every time I make my plans which airport will have the lowest out of pocket costs. Until this trip it was never Charleston, South Carolina.
Since I had never been, I decided to stop for a day and investigate. Glad about that and I definitely will return.
I was curious why it had the nickname The Holy City, I kind of thought that name would be reserved for someplace like Vatican City. The locals explained that in the past it earned the name from the large number of church steeples that once dominated the skyline. In present day they have reshaped the moniker to represent the city’s openness and tolerance. There are a lot of churches in present day Charleston, some are extraordinary. In my brief stay there I did find the local population to be exceedingly friendly and surprisingly accepting for a smallish southern city.
I did a blitz one morning of all the must-see churches in town but my hands down favourite was Gothic Revival styled Emanuel. Emanuel is an African Methodist Episcopal church or AME, a term I did not know existed before Charleston. I have to admit I was a little confused since ‘Emanuel’ is a Hebrew word meaning ‘G-d is with us’, so I Googled up a bit whilst touring the outside. The church has a very interesting and somewhat dramatic history in Charleston – it was burnt to the ground under suspicious circumstances, damaged by a earthquake and for a time its members were forced by law into underground worship – but it stands today as a testimony to freedom and perseverance.
There are, of course, many other sites to see in the city, including other churches. Some highlights below including the interesting Ravenel Bridge and some homes I discovered while walking about.
More on Charleston this week.