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“History Buff Attraction” 4 of 5 stars
Review of National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (Central Business District)
513 333 7500
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Ranked #17 of 87 Attractions in Cincinnati
Type: History Museums
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center stands as the nation's newest monument to freedom. It brings to life the importance - and relevance - of struggles for freedom around the world and throughout history, including today.
Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
136 reviews 136 reviews
79 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“History Buff Attraction”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

Surprisingly, Cincinnati does a very good job educating locals and visitors about their history, and the Freedom Center is a "must see" for people curious about area history. Due to its location on the Ohio River right across from a slave holding state, Cincinnati served as a major hub for the Underground Railroad.

The museum chronicles this history along with other threads associated with slavery and freedom. Although many exhibits are rather jumbled, it's definitely worth checking out. I didn't spend a great deal of time here, but I still learned a few new facts and found their "modern slavery" presentations thought provoking.

Note: If you have children, prepare to browse quickly and find a few highlights. There isn't much in the way of inter-active displays (outside a few "puzzle" like items that pose questions and you flip a piece to reveal the answer).

Visited September 2013
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319 reviews from our community

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English first
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Sobering and Inspiring”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

This space is incredible and they have a great collection. I would caution that I was there with my 13 year old daughter. There is an exhibit on child slavery in the world today and also an exhibit on sexual slavery. I can't imagine anyone not being affected by the exhibits as I know I was, but my daughter was so upset we had to leave. I would recommend a little prep for kids before going, but still taking them for sure.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great collection, not as user friendly as you would hope”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

We really loved this place, but it was a bit difficult to get started. Desk person said you were meant to start on second floor. Do not follow this advice if it's what you are told. It's like coming into the middle of the story! Go immediately to the third floor where you begin with the beginning of the story of slavery in the colonies and progress through reconstruction. The second floor exhibits flesh out the story and highlight many important people, places and events...but the third floor exhibits give you the complete historical context to make sense of these stories. Good films, amazing artifacts and some electrifying art! Bookstore/gift shop also a real highlight and the building itself is magnificent. Sitting in a window seeing the river with Kentucky just across the bridge is very meaningful. Don't miss it, but be sure to get the full impact by getting the whole story!

Visited September 2013
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Wow!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Do expect to spend some time there----use the app---it is great to use when you visit. It helps so much to create what it was like back in the day. I think they did a great job of looking at slavery in a variety of angles---slaves, political aspects, those involved in being part of the underground railroad, slave owners etc. After the visit---it made us look at the Ohio River in a different light.

Visited September 2013
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Louisville, Kentucky
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
49 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“A Major Black Heritage Museum”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a national treasure. Located strategically in Cincinnati, this museum is across the Ohio River from Kentucky. The river separated the slaves states from the free states in the 18th and 19th centuries. For runaway slaves the Ohio was "the River Jordan" and they only had to cross it to reach freedom and the promised land. This center has had a number of fine exhibits over the years including a gruesome one on lynching titled "Without Sanctuary." This is the area of the real story "Beloved" where Margaret Garner escaped and killed one of her own children to prevent the child from growing up as a slave. This is near Ripley, Ohio where the true story of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" took place as Eliza Harris escaped on the frozen Ohio River with her baby in her arms.
This is a must see for history buffs. Be sure to allow a couple of hours to see everything in this wonderful museum.

Visited October 2012
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