Southern Charm, Hospitality, and History

The lovely Robin and I enjoyed a hot and humid whirlwind visit to Charleston, South Carolina, last weekend. We were there for the wedding of Brittany Lillibridge to B.J. Lester (and a beautiful and blessed event it was!).

Charleston is the home of The Citadel (above), the military college of South Carolina, and the site of the wedding (see my Desperate Pastor blog for a posting about Summerall Chapel, where the wedding was held).

It is sometimes called "The Holy City," for the prominence of churches on the low-rise cityscape, particularly the numerous steeples which dot the city's skyline, and for the fact that it was one of the few cities in the original thirteen colonies to provide religious tolerance, albeit restricted to non-catholics. Above is the French Huguenots Church at Church and Queen Street, founded in approximately 1681 by Huguenot refugees from the Protestant persecutions in France (some of these churches will be featured in coming weeks on the Monday "Church of the Week" feature on my Desperate Pastor blog).

We were blessed to stay at the Mills House Hotel in the old town of Charleston (originally named Charles Towne, for King Charles II, in 1680), and I enjoyed a Saturday morning stroll up and down scenic Meeting Street (above), which is lined by venerable mansions (see below) and beautiful churches. At frequent places along the street, women were set up, weaving and selling their handmade sweetgrass baskets.

The terminus of my walk was The Battery, the point of the Charleston peninsula, bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.

Fort Sumter is visible from the Cooper River side, and a park known as White Point Gardens (below) shades this pleasant spot.

I wish I had had time to tour the beautiful Calhoun Mansion (named not for favorite son John C. Calhoun, but for his grandson, who inherited the house in the early twentieth century):

The Calhoun Mansion is the largest in Charleston, has 35 rooms, a grand ballroom, japanese water gardens, 35 fireplaces, 75 foot high domed stairhall ceiling, khoi ponds, private elevator, three levels of piazzas, ornate chandeliers, and a 90 foot cupola....more than 24,000 square feet! Built by George Walton Williams, a Charleston businessman and humanitarian who wanted to revive Charleston while Union soldiers occupied the city in 1876, it remains a private residence today.

Charleston exudes Southern charm, hospitality, and history. In spite of the all-too-characteristic heat and humidity, we left reluctantly, plotting a return visit as soon as possible.


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  4. Really nice pictures!!

    I love that church! I've seen many old beatiful churches at Israel doing some Holy Land Tours but this one I really like it.

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