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Atlanta was founded in 1836 as a railroad intersection. During the Civil War it had served as a central city in the south, suffered serious injuries from winning the Northern Army. The city’s inhabitants were evacuated. In 1864 Atlanta was destroyed almost to the ground. The fall of Atlanta severely damaged the Southern morale and was one of the turning points in the fate of the war. After the war the city was gradually restored, Atlanta was declared the capital Georgia, and developed into a trade and industry center of the south. In the 60s of the 20th century Atlanta was the center of the American civil rights movement, and actively fought against segregation practiced in southern states. 1996 Olympic Games were held in the city, which wiped out the remnants of a backward southern town image and put Atlanta in line with the important and well-established North American cities. If you feel that you are the only white person in the area that is because 62% of the population here are African Americans who chose to live or were born at Atlanta – the hometown of Dr. Martin Luther King. 

Recommended sites in downtown:

Atlanta city is comfortable and easy to walk through. Our visit begins in Centennial Olympic Park, on the west side of Downtown. This is an 85 acre park, a legacy from the Olympic Games that took place in Atlanta in 96, but the Olympics logo stamped on the floor had being renovated when we visited. It can be assumed that the park has been already restored since then .Great shopping center of Atlanta combines many underground levels and is one of the few remaining relics from Atlanta in the 19th century, and is, as its name implies, underground – as a result of railway construction underneath already existing streets Historical tours are taken place here; they describe life in the early city, and the relationship to today’s city life.
Capitol Building of Georgia, State Capitol, has a golden dome, built in 1889, it is one of the most impressive historic buildings in the city. Tours and exhibitions taking place here. The place is open from Monday to Friday. If you go west, there is a historic Fairlie- Poplar, a hundred years ago it was the city’s commercial center, and had 20 blocks of brick buildings with tile roofs, which were built between 1880 and the First World War. The name of the place means “pretty popular”, it is produced by connecting the names of two major streets in the area. Most recognized site in the city is the CNN Center located at the street No. 1, at the southeastern corner of the Olympic Park. If you’re walking, just go by the building’s giant sign, which cannot be missed.  At the entrance you will find a variety of built-up wallpaper images of important news events.  The CNN complex is a tiny mall itself with food stands, a bookstore and a store of Cartoon Network. The tour begins after you paid about $ 12, rising for a few minutes at the escalator, claimed to be world’s highest. Guided tours include visiting of the broadcast studios and rooms behind them, full of technicians, editors and researchers. Instructors teach you how to do news, and how read the weather map.  As a souvenir, photograph you while reading TV News cast (end of course you pay for this extra charge). Like everywhere in America you will end the visit at the company’s souvenir shop where you can also find souvenirs from the series of “Sex and the City.” 

Walking north along the park, we came to the Museum of Coca-Cola, World of Coca-Cola. Please note: this is Coca-Cola Museum, and not a factory as many sources tend to mark. The address is: 121 Baker Street, the entrance costs about $ 10. At the museum you can see a simulation of Coca-Cola production, and you can see all the commercials that the company has done to date. Barman at the place will also tell you who invented the drink and then you will visit the most worth room of the museum – the tasting room where you can taste all of the company’s drinks from all over the world and it’s free! The tour ends with a souvenir shop, where you will find everything: from plates set to company’s clothes.

Sweet Auburn neighborhood

After  introduction to modern culture, in a few minutes’ drive you will reach Sweet Auburn neighborhood, where you can meet and learn about one of the most important people in American history – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site holds a comprehensive number of blocks in the neighborhood. The visitor center has a description of the actions of American civil rights movement, and (of course) a souvenir shop. At the site you can see books that Martin Luther wrote, as well as his historical pictures, a room devoted to his mother who also fought in the struggle for civil rights of black-skinned people to have a right to sit in the front of the bus, another room has a statue of Gandhi, who also fought for equal rights. Entrance is free and open to compound all week.
Up the street, at Av. Auburn number 501 you will find the home where Martin Luther King, Jr. was born. When we visited, the house itself was closed, but if you close your eyes you will feel as if a went several years back in time and feel this period. The houses around also contribute to the atmosphere.  Home visit is accompanied by Ranger `s National Parks Authority, you must register for a tour at the visitor center. Please note that only 15 people can participate in the tour each time, and they fill up quickly, so go ahead and register right away, especially if you plan to visit on weekends or holidays. 

If you turn back toward the city, you’ll find Ebenezer Baptist Church, located at Av. Auburn Number 407. King, like his father and grandfather before him, served as priests of this church, his mother was murdered here in 1974. Entrance is open to visitors.
Next to the church in King Center, there is a Center for Non Violent Social Change, which continues to perform activities for social and economic equality.  Here you will learn about the activities of Dr. Martin that are represented in movies and photos. At the place you can see some of his personal belongings, including Nobel Peace Prize. The Center is open daily, admission is free. Between the church and the center there is the tomb of Martin Luther King, Jr., which is currently under construction, so we couldn’t see it. However, it seems that now the renovations were over, so worth a try.

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