Even in a country with a past life as a colony of one or more European imperial powers, Mobile stands out. (No, its nickname “The City of Six Flags” has nothing to do with the amusement park.)
Mobile was founded in 1702 as the first capital of French Louisiana. In 1763, France lost the Seven Years’ War – and many of its territories, Mobile among them. The flag of the victorious British soon flew over the colony of Mobile, but not for long.
During the American Revolution, Spain entered the war on behalf of the American colonies and soon (rather opportunistically) seized Mobile. It would remain in Spanish hands until the War of 1812. Years before the Monroe Doctrine warned European monarchs to take their colonizing efforts elsewhere, an American general showed the Spanish the door in Mobile.
Finally, a series of American flags would fly over Mobile. A glance at a map of the United States will show why Mobile, a city in what is now the state of Alabama, held such importance for so many nations. Situated at the mouth of Mobile River and at the head of Mobile Bay, the city of Mobile has long protected and serviced the Port of Mobile.
Mobile’s architecture reflects its history; the city boasts an impressive number of historical structures. And at Battleship Memorial Park, visitors can learn more about Mobile’s strategic importance to the armed forces and the role the port has played in history by touring the museum’s retired battleships and submarines. At Mobile’s art museum, visitors will see an array of artwork from many nations – a reminder of a port city’s essential cosmopolitanism.
Worth Checking Out
- Battleship Memorial Park
- Mobile Museum of Art
- Mobile Bay
- Dauphin Island
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