Salt Lake City was founded on July 24th, 1847 by pioneers led west by Brigham Young. These pioneers were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise commonly known as Mormons. These pioneers had fled west to escape persecution and were determined to make Salt Lake City, and to a greater extent all of Utah their home. Just days after their arrival they started drawing plans for the city and plans for its very center- Temple Square.
The Salt Lake City temple began construction in 1853, but was not completed till several decades later in 1893. This long construction time was due to their limited transportation for materials and their dedication to make their religious temple perfect. Today the exterior is almost exactly as it was in 1893, and although much taller buildings have sprung up around it, it has remained the most visited part of Salt Lake City.
There is a wide variety of activities for individuals and families to participate in while visiting Temple Square. There is the South Visitor Center which features exhibits about the meaning of the temple religiously and the importance to current day members. This exhibit even includes a model of the inside of the temple, since tours are not usually given inside the building itself. The center also goes over more in depth the history of the temple and it's construction.
The North Visitors center is home to the square's famous Christus Statue. This 11 foot statue of Jesus Christ sculpted by the famous artist Thovaldsen. The North visitor's center also includes a 14 square foot replica map of first century Jerusalem. Other exhibits in the center include the importance of service, family, and their concept of modern-day prophets. For those wanting a more visual experience there is the Legacy Theater located inside the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. This theater shows various films produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It explores both the lives of it's Pioneer members as well as modern day believers. The theater shows a variety of films from 10 am - 8:30pm and tickets are not required as showings are free.
After exploring the grounds visitors can also eat at some of Temple Square's Restaurants. The first being the Roof Restaurant. Enjoy dining on a gourmet buffet from the top floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and witnessing some of the best views of Downtown Salt Lake. The second option for visitors is the Garden Restaurant. This high-rise bistro serves modestly priced american cuisine also from the top floor. In the summer it becomes an open air restaurant with their retractable skylight. The third option is the Nauvoo Cafe. The Nauvoo Cafe only serves breakfast and brunch, but is much more modestly priced than the Roof or Garden Restaurants. The last option is the Lion House Pantry that serves home-style cooking in the 19th century home of Brigham Young.