Your visit to the United State of America is not complete if you did not visit the capital city of the country. Get here after your visit to Philadelphia and before you proceed your journey to Niagara Falls.
Washington D.C named after the first president, George Washington, is the capital city of the United States. This city located between Virginia and Maryland on the north bank of the Potomac River. The city is home to all three branches of the federal government, as well as the White House, the Supreme Court, and the Capitol Building. The population of this capital city is 500,000.
Now, let’s see what are the attractions you must visit if you’re in town.
The White House
The White House Residence was completed in 1800, spans six floors comprise 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms. Its property valued at 400 million dollar.
However, the president’s residence was not designed by an American but by an Irish architect James Hoban, who began his career in 1785. The architect was actually won a contest held by George Washington after plans with a French architect fell through. Hoban was greatly influenced by a building called The Leinster House located in Dublin. During the British invasion in 1814, the British army has burned the White House down. The same architect, James Hoban rebuilt the White House and finished it in 1817.
Before it was known as the ‘Executive Residence‘ before Theodore Roosevelt changed it name to ‘The White House’ to make residence of the President of the United States (POTUS) had more distinguished title.
Even though President George Washington was the one who begun the construction, the second president, President John Adams was the first president lived in this building. Meanwhile, other president also has added or converted more room into activities room such as President Harry Truman commissioned it bowling alley inside the White House and President Franklin D. Roosevelt transformed a cloakroom into a 42-seat movie theater. The wife of President Bill Clinton, Hillary also converted a sitting room into a music room for him.
The Oval Office is the working office space of the President of the United States. This room is located in the West Wing of the White House. The famous Oval Office was inspired by George Washington.
The US Capitol
The United States Capitol is the building where the United States Congress meets. It is the center of the legislative branch of the US federal government. It is in Washington D.C, on top of Capitol Hill at the east end of the National Mall.
The Capitol was built after Thomas Jefferson held a design competition to elicit entries from some of the finest architects in America and it was won by William Thornton design after the initial architect was fired. The U.S. Capitol Building is divided into five levels has more than 540 rooms and has 658 windows. George Washington himself laid the cornerstone for the Capitol on 18 September 1793.
The capitol building has a large dome in the center. The Dome is 9.1 million pounds of cast-iron with 108 windows and was constructed between 1855 and 1866. It has housed the meeting chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate for two centuries. The statue at the top of dome is the Statue of Freedom. The Rotunda is a circular room in the center of the building beneath the Capitol dome.
Inside the Capitol, there is a National Statuary Hall Collection where statue of King Kamehameha located. This is a gift given by Hawaii in 1969 and the largest statue in the Statuary Hall Collection. This room is where presidents and distinguished citizens lie in state. Paintings and sculptures depicting significant people and events in US history are on display.
While still under construction, the United States Capitol held its first session of Congress on 17 November 1800. On 4 March 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first president to be inaugurated in Washington within the Senate chamber of the Capitol.
The Lincoln Memorial
Seated proudly at the west end of Washington, D.C.’s National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial is one of the most beloved American monuments. The 16th President of the United States sits immortalized in marble as an enduring symbol of unity, strength, and wisdom after he was assassinated on 14 April 1865.
It took more than 50 years to get a memorial for Lincoln built and opened to the public. It was completed in April 1917 with the construction was slowed by World War I. However, the memorial would not open until 1922.
The Lincoln Memorial was brought to life through the collaboration of many designers and artisans. Daniel Chester French designed the statue of America’s 16th President and the Italian Piccirillis family was the marble carver which produced the statue. They injected Roman influence into the project, modeling the pillars upon which Lincoln rests his arms on, the bundles of wood that have represented power for centuries. Henry Bacon created the monument building with the exterior building of the Lincoln Memorial was heavily influenced by the Greek monument, the Parthenon.
The Washington Monument
The Washington Monument towers above the city that bears his name, serving as an awe-inspiring reminder of George Washington’s greatness. It was designed by Robert Mills and eventually completed by Thomas Casey and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, honors, and memorializes George Washington at the center of the nation’s capital.
The structure was completed in two phases of construction, one private (1848-1854) and one public (1876-1884). Built in the shape of an Egyptian obelisk, evoking the timelessness of ancient civilizations, the Washington Monument embodies the awe, respect, and gratitude the nation felt for its most essential Founding Father. The current obelisk design was proposed in 1876. The Washington Monument was the tallest building in the world upon its completion in 1884 until the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889. The Washington Monument standing 555 feet tall, is 267 feet taller than the U.S. Capitol.
The best thing about visiting all these iconic monuments is it was located in or near to the National Mall Park. The Lincoln Memorial and the Washington monument was found in the park while the eastern end is the domed U.S. Capitol, and the White House is to the north. Explore the park while surrounded by elm and cherry blossom tree!