Before leaving for my trip to Alabama I spoke with two of my friends about the Southern region. One told me about its legendary hospitality and the other one about its compelling history. It was with this comparison in mind that I embarked on my tour of the history and culture of Alabama. Watch video here.

image

At Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church.

Exploring a Historical City Center

We started by visiting downtown Montgomery, which is filled with monuments from the Civil Rights era. One of the highlights was the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. served as pastor. To have the chance to step in such a place is a privilege.

image

At Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church.

It is very peaceful there and a wonderful place to reflect on the struggles that took place. Portraits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Civil Rights leaders are displayed throughout, along with famous quotes. The basement also features a wonderful hand-painted mural. The entire experience is very powerful and left a strong impression on me.

A Monument to Civil Rights

image

Staircase of the Alabama State Capitol.

Next, we visited the Alabama state capitol, While walking in the Capitol building, I ran into a very friendly lady who recommended visiting the nearby Civil Rights Memorial. The memorial was designed by architect Maya Lin, also known for her work on the Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Outside the memorial is a beautiful outdoor fountain. The center of the memorial is a giant circle, and as you enter you can see testimonials and photos of those who fought for civil rights.

image

image

image

image

The monument touched me deeply. I kept moving through the hallway, which was filled with Civil Rights quotes about improving the world. As I embraced each of them I arrived in a large, high ceilinged room with a 180-degree screen called the Wall of Tolerance that was projecting names. I realized these were names of people who pledged to make a commitment to work in their daily lives for justice, equality and human rights, the ideals for which many civil rights martyrs died. I added my name to the list.

image

Home of Literary Giants

After Montgomery we traveled to Monroeville and enjoyed the scenery on the road including gigantic green trees. The Monroe County Museum tells the story of two prominent writers of the post World War II period, Truman Capote and Harper Lee, who were childhood friends in the 1930s. Lee’s only published work was “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a Pulitzer Prize winner of such lasting fame that it still remains a large tourist draw for the town.

image

The Story of Carnival

We arrived in Mobile by night. Mobile is known for its legendary Mardi Gras, and the town features a wonderful museum about the history of Mardi Gras. There are fascinating stories along with several exhibitions of the ornate capes, costumes and crowns used in the ceremonies. Some even say that there is a ghost that lives there!

image

History Comes Alive

Alabama is very rich with history and culture that seems to come alive when you visit its historical cities. The stories that are told through these towns are an important part of history that I felt enriched to experience them.

image

?

Travel Journal available in French here.

Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. More to come!

Thanks, Caroline

Twitter carolineamiguet

www.carolineamiguet.com

When You Go

Historical Sites

Alabama State Capitol Building

http://www.preserveala.org/capitoltour.htm

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church

http://www.dexterkingmemorial.org

Civil Rights Memorial

http://visitingmontgomery.com/play/civil-rights-memorial-center

http://www.splcenter.org/civil-rights-memorial

Fascinating Museums

Mobile Carnival Museum

http://www.mobilecarnivalmuseum.com

Monroe County Museum

http://www.monroecountymuseum.org

For More Information

Alabama’s Official Travel Guide

http://alabama.travel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s