Historic Alexandria

Welcome to Historic Alexandria! Visit City of Alexandria museums and historic sites and discover our past, present and future!

Page updated on Jul 9, 2018 at 9:25 AM

Historic Alexandria

Welcome to Historic Alexandria! With more than 250 years of history and hospitality to its credit, Alexandria offers an array of historic and cultural attractions. Alexandria's many historic homes, churches, businesses and museums allow residents and visitors alike to experience the hand of the past that makes our city the charming and historic town it is today. Visit City of Alexandria museums and historic sites and discover our pastpresent and future!

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This week in Historic Alexandria, enjoy the many exhibits, public programs and special events offered by our city’s great museums and historic sites! Information on daily calendar listings, museum hours, local history and much more is included in this e-newsletter, updated each week on this webpage or delivered to your in-box. To subscribe to this and other information from the City of Alexandria, create an e-news account and select your notifications of interest here.


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Alexandria has received a $50K grant from @SavingPlaces African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. The grant is for the preservation of Freedom House Museum (1315 Duke St.), which was the former HQ of one of the nation’s largest slave traders.


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The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in collaboration with the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) and the City of Alexandria, has planned a summer-long Scavenger Hunt throughout Alexandria to celebrate the 10 millionth patent. 


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Historic Alexandria offers camps for all ages and interests.

  • Sign up now for Clio's Kids: A History Mini Camp, ages 5-7, at The Lyceum, July 17-19, 2018.
  • Civil War Kids Camp, ages 8-12, was held at Fort Ward Museum June 25-29, 2018.
  • Alexandria Archaeology Summer Camp, ages 12-15, is sold out for July 16-20, 2018.


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Many of the City's premier historic sites are owned and operated by the City of Alexandria and fall under the administration of the Office of Historic Alexandria, the department of City government charged with the conservation, interpretation and promotion of these links to the past. Find out more about each of our museums and historic sites.


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Explore centuries of human history. See a 13,000-year-old Clovis point, an 18th-century apothecary, a restored Civil War fort, a 1940s segregated library, and more. See all the information you need to plan a visit to the Historic Alexandria museums. Before your visit, be sure to print an eSavings Coupon.


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“Hamilton” is coming to DC! Are you a fan? Learn more about special Historic Alexandria's Hamilton-themed events at VisitAlexandria.com. Attend a lecture on Hamilton's relationship with Washington, join a Hamilton-themed tour, try on uniforms of the Revolutionary War, or play 18th-century style games.


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The City of Alexandria is joining countless others around the world in commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I. Learn more about Alexandria’s involvement in WWI and current and upcoming events marking the centennial.


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Archaeologists under contract with developer EYA LLC and working under a City-approved Resource Management Plan found the remains of three historic ships at the Robinson Landing construction site. The ships, and another discovered at the Hotel Indigo site in 2015, are believed to have been built in the mid-to-late 1700s and buried before 1798. 


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As redevelopment takes place along Alexandria's waterfront, archaeologists working at the Robinson Landing site are discovering ships, wharves, warehouses and more. Learn about the latest finds, and about nautical discoveries from the nearby Indigo Hotel site.


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The hull of the 18th-century ship found in 2015 at the Hotel Indigo construction site is undergoing conservation at Texas A&M University's Conservation Research Laboratory. Please make a generous donation to the Save Our Ship Conservation Fund to ensure the preservation of the fragile wood timbers. Thanks to all who helped us raise more than $10,000 for the ship on April 25, through Spring2ACTion.


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Help us preserve two important fire-fighting vehicles on display at Friendship Firehouse Museum: The Rodgers Suction Engine, built in 1851, and the Prettyman Hose Carriage, built in Alexandria in 1858.


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The Museum at 1315 Duke Street is open Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The building is currently owned by the Northern Virginia Urban League and together with the Office of Historic Alexandria, we invite you to visit the museum in this historic reminder of slavery.


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The City of Alexandria is working on an Interpretive Plan for Fort Ward Park to expand interpretation to include the full range of its history, especially including the African American experience and the post-Civil War Fort community. Fort Ward's Civil War history will remain a core theme, but new elements will explore the legacy of that pivotal era.


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Reinforce your teaching with hands-on experiences, field trips, lectures, educational kits and other resources. Programs are designed to foster interest in the history and culture of Alexandria from colonial times to the present. Schedule tours and programs for school groups, scout groups, home-school families, and camps, as well as for adults.


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Looking for something fun for your family to do in Historic Alexandria? With  living history programs, festivals, teas, and more, there is something for every age! Make your child's birthday party a historic occasion, send your kid to Summer Camp, or check the Calendar of Events to plan your family fun.


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What happened in Alexandria on today's date, or tomorrow, or on your birthday? See today's historical events, or search for another date. These daily events in Alexandria's history were first printed in "This Week in Historic Alexandria." 



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Out of the Attic, featuring historical photographs of Alexandria, is a column produced by the Office of Historic Alexandria and published weekly in the Alexandria Times. An archive of articles dating back to the column's beginning in 2007 appears here with permission of the newspaperSort or search the index to learn about places or topics of interest.


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The City of Alexandria’s wayfinding signage system helps people find their way around the city. Take a look at the new map and history panel “mini-kiosks” in Old Town, from the Masonic Temple on Shuter's Hill to the waterfront. Read the full text of the history panels here.


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Enjoy a variety of walking and bike tours, listen to podcasts, explore Alexandria's Civil War heritage with a free iPhone app, go on a scavenger hunt, or learn about Trail Signs and the Alexandria Heritage Trail. For a short preview, check out Visit Alexandria 360, a virtual tour.


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Visit the Museum Store at The Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street) and online at The Alexandria Shop. The shop offers great gift ideas, a wide variety of Alexandria-related merchandise and the very best selections from all the Historic Alexandria museum stores. Your purchases support programming at Historic Alexandria's museums. 


About the Office of Historic Alexandria

Many of the city's premier historic sites fall under the administration of the  Office of Historic Alexandria, the department of City government charged with the conservation, interpretation and promotion of these links to the past. These sites bring Alexandria's varied and storied history to life. Additionally, Alexandria has many  more historic sites which are open to the public and tell a significant part of the city's historical tale. The Office of Historic Alexandria has received accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums.


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American Alliance of Museums
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