This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
There’s a certain magical aura surrounding the town of Mystic, Connecticut–and it’s not just the pizza. A bustling old port located on the Atlantic, its home to an entire fleet of nautical history, including a ship that is the last of its kind.
Starting in the late 18th century, Mystic was a massive shipbuilding operation for the young United States, with over 600 ships built in its yards. Though that business slowly died down over the ensuing decades, Mystic’s love of sailing the glittering seas never wavered, creating a desire to honor the industry that put the tiny town on the map. Founded in 1929 as the “Marine Historical Association”, the Mystic Seaport Museum was founded as an answer to this need of the community, preserving the seafaring heritage of the port. While initially only holding a small collection, the museum’s fate would change with the purchase of a unique vessel.
In 1941, the museum acquired the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaling ship from the 19th century and also the oldest non-wrecked merchant ship still in existence. Designated a national landmark, the tall-sailed ship is the second oldest seafaring vessel in the world only to the USS Constitution. With its open sea-tested floorboards and veteran sails, the old Morgan would sit and watch as the museum would grow around it, becoming home to over 60 historic buildings, various craftspeople demonstrating naval arts such blacksmithing and coopering, multiple historic ships to create quite the boat-lovers’ armada.
Boasting over 250,000 visitors a year, the Mystic Seaport Museum continues to be a popular stop for nautical fans ferrying around the East Coast, including filmmakers. In the famous coming of age film, Mystic Pizza, a young Annabeth Gish’s character works at Mystic Seaport’s planetarium, with a few scenes featuring the museum.
Now, all of these sea-worthy tidbits could make one quite hungry. Thankfully, near this now popular museum, there’s always a slice of pepperoni pie just a couple knots away.
Written By: Seamus McMahon
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