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Best Landmarks in Washington DC

, 31 Options Found

Located at the west end of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial is one of the principal landmarks of Washington, DC. Its stately form overlooks the Reflecting Pool, a gleaming stretch of water that lies sprawled before its base. Daniel Chester French's 19-foot (5.7-meter) statue of Lincoln, seated and deep in thought, watches over the nation he helped create, alongside the carved text of the Gettysburg Address, providing a glimpse into a weighty period of American history. The memorial itself draws inspiration from the Greek architectural style; its 36 doric columns represent the number of states in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death. Surrounded by greenery on the banks of the Potomac River, the Lincoln Memorial makes for a soul-stirring, picturesque sight, a fitting ode to one of the nation's most revered presidents.

Designed by John Russell Pope, this Roman-style monument to Thomas Jefferson, the nation's third president and author of the Declaration of Independence, is elegant and simple. Within the memorial, Jefferson's 19-foot (5.79-meter) statue stands surrounded by some of his most inspirational writings. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial serves as a place for reflection and contemplation, inviting visitors to ponder Jefferson's enduring legacy. At night, the view of the Washington Monument across the tidal basin is one of the most attractive vistas in Washington, especially when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

This basilica, one of the largest Roman Catholic churches in the Western Hemisphere, was dedicated in 1959. The architecture of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is a mix of Romanesque and Byzantine styles. The Great Upper Church boasts fantastic mosaics, stained glass windows and individual chapels. The lower level Crypt Church is smaller and darker, but equally impressive in atmosphere and ornamentation. The basilica has a bookstore, gift shop and cafeteria.

Part of the original design for the federal city, this massive park stretches from the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial and around the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial. It has played host to many momentous, world-changing events throughout history including the 1963 March on Washington, the Million Man March and several presidential inaugurations. Today, the National Mall serves as a place for reflection, a memorial to American heroes, a symbol of freedom and a forum for the exercise of democracy. The Smithsonian museums, the Vietnam Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and the iconic Washington Monument are some of the most well-known of the National Mall's many iconic sites. Certainly, any visit to Washington DC should start with a tour of the United States National Mall, aptly named "America's front yard."

The symbol of the city of Washington, DC, this 555-foot (169-meter) marble obelisk on the National Mall honors the nation's first president, George Washington. The cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid in 1848, but it was fully constructed only in 1884. One can witness a visible change about one-third of the way up the obelisk marble—evidence of the onset of the Civil War. Construction was stalled during the war, and when the builders returned to the same quarry to complete the project afterward, enough time had passed to cause a significant change in the color. It is an emblem of the United States and an icon of the nation; the Washington Monument is a moving sight, its elegant form mirrored in the Reflecting Pool of the Lincoln Monument nearby.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, unveiled in 1982, stands as a tribute to the over 58,281 Americans who died or remain missing in action during the Vietnam War. Maya Lin, a 22-year-old undergraduate student at Yale University, designed this iconic black granite wall, forever etching her work in the memories of countless visitors. As they walk along the wall, the names seem to recede into the earth, serving as a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made during this turbulent period in American history.

One of the largest cathedrals in the world, the National Cathedral is more than an Episcopal cathedral; it is a national shrine. Being the site of several significant memorial services, the cathedral lives up to its role of a ‘spiritual home for the nation’. The final Sunday sermon delivered by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is only one among the many notable historic moments that the cathedral has witnessed. The flying buttresses, gargoyles, crypts, an enormous vaulted ceiling and intimate chapels all contribute to this architectural marvel. Furthermore, the curving walkways, well-kept hedges and spacious lawns invite exploration. When in Washington, a visit to this national treasure simply cannot be missed.

President Wilson lived in this Georgian Revival-style house after he left office, creating a comfortable, unpretentious residence with his wife, Edith. It was in this house that Wilson breathed his last in an upstairs bedroom. The couple had collected items from all over the world, filling their home with eclectic wares. The collection spans over 8000 items and gives an insight into Wilson’s presidential legacy. Tours are also available on site and you can avail these to get a close-up view of the unique collection and interesting décor.

Established on April 29, 2004, the World War II Memorial is the first national memorial to honor the American troops who fought in the war. The design by architect Friedrich St. Florian marks the Pacific and European Theaters of World War II with magnificent arches and remembers the Americans who died with 4,048 stars along the Freedom Wall. Located on the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, visitors come here for a poignant and educational experience.

The pristine facade, elegant dome, and porticoes of the Capitol Building are a symbol of the principles held dear by the nation's founding fathers and an emblem of representative democracy. Home to the Legislative Branch of the United States Federal Government, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, this iconic neoclassical building attracts many curious tourists from all over the world. Guided tours of the Capitol offer a glimpse into the everyday workings of government officials and the intricacies of its rich interiors. Offering a lesson about the nation's history and its electoral procedures, this monument continues to inspire awe and wonder.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass purchased this 21-room home, making him the first African-American to buy a home in that area. Known as Cedar Hill, the home became the nation's first Black National Historic Site. The original furnishings are in large part the ones Douglass himself owned. They include the 1200-volume library of this self-taught man. Also on display are gifts given to Douglass by such contemporaries as Mary Todd Lincoln and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

One of Washington's newest memorials, the Korean War Veterans Memorial pays tribute to the many who fought in the Korean War. Located near the Lincoln Memorial, this monument features statues of 19 soldiers carefully making their way through unknown terrain. Photographic images on a 164-foot granite wall pays tribute to the thousands of others who contributed to the war; nurses, mechanics, crew chiefs and support personnel. Inscribed on the wall are the words: "Freedom Is Not Free."

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