History is embedded in Charleston's culture, and the Circular Congressional Church is a prime example of how this sometimes stormy and always fascinating history can be beautifully brought to life, and easily enjoyed by any strolling passerby. One of the most distinguished chapels in the area, and anchored by the oldest cemetery in Charleston, the church ranks high on the list of top attractions for architectural aficionados, ghost story fans, and anyone who appreciates a quiet sanctuary with an impressive veneer.
Charleston County and the city of Charleston, its county seat, are the most historic locations in the state. English settlers arrived in the colony of Carolina in 1670 and established a town at Albemarle Point on the west bank of the Ashley River. The settlement, named Charles Town in honor of King Charles II of England, was subsequently moved a few miles away to a peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper rivers. Charles Town (renamed Charleston in 1783) was the political, social, and economic center of South Carolina throughout the colonial and ante-bellum periods, and it served as the state capital until 1790.