Sightseeing in Montgomeryville

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At the turn of the 19th century, it became all too clear to historian and archaeologist Henry Mercer that handmade objects were being cast aside for machine-made things. He wanted to help preserve the pre-industrial way of life, and so he built a museum for his artifacts adjacent to his own home, Fonthill Castle. Today, Fonthill Castle is a National Historic Landmark and a museum in its own right, displaying handcrafted art both made by Mercer and collected by him during his world travels.

  • The Building: the concrete castle comprises 44 rooms, including 18 fireplaces and around 200 windows; its vastness earned it a feature on A&E's America's Castles
  • Crown Jewel: all through the castle, guests will find interior walls, floors, and ceilings adorned with Mercer's handcrafted tiles
  • Don't Miss: 14,000 of Mercer's collected artifacts, including tiles, prints, textiles, and back issues of So You Own A Castle magazine
  • Hidden Gem: in one hallway ceiling, Henry Mercer inscribed a thank-you note addressed directly to everyone who helped build his home?including a horse
  • Annual Events: in the summer, there's Fonthill Castle Beer Fest, where guests pair local beers with local foods; in the winter, the castle is decked out for the holidays in Victorian-era splendor
  • While You?re in the Neighborhood: tour Henry's labor of love, the Mercer Museum next door, which houses his collection of pre-Industrial Age handmade objects
E Court St
Doylestown,
PA
US

For many galleries, art is something that resides behind a velvet rope, separated and unaccessible to its viewers. For the curators of Abington Art Center, it is something to be experienced, enjoyed, and, above all, created oneself. Located on the 27-acre expanse of Alverthorpe Manor, the center hosts classes and workshops for students of all ages and exhibitions of community artists. The outdoor Sculpture Park captures the center's sense of playful creation, inviting sculptors to craft their own temporary installations each year—this also helps erase the temptation to carve a mustache into a nearby town's statue of its mayor. The guest artists are encouraged to have their creations respond to the nature around them, such as massive faces carved from tree trunks. Inside the mansion, one can find galleries of young creators and solo exhibitions by professional artists.

515 Meetinghouse Rd
Jenkintown,
PA
US

High on a hill in Bryn Athyn, a vision of old Europe towers over the surrounding greenery. Built as a private residence between 1928 and 1939, the 20th-century castle was constructed in the medieval style, using symbolism that reflects the faith of the community's earliest inhabitants. The building now serves as a museum that houses religious art and relics dating from Babylonian times up to the present. The museum's permanent and temporary exhibits range from a medieval collection of stained glass that spans the years 1100?1300 to an Egyptian collection that includes an ornate granite libation bowl, which Egyptian priests are said to have used to dump Gatorade on their football coach.

1001 Cathedral Rd
Bryn Athyn,
PA
US