Washington National Cathedral - Washington National Cathedral information and pictures

Planning for a national house of worship in Washington, DC, began as far back as 1893, with initial construction in 1907 that was interrupted, through two world wars and a lack of funding. The National Cathedral, a Protestant Episcopal church, but welcoming to all faiths, was completed in 1990, and has served as a center of worship and a community center of sorts, offering religious services, educational programs, exhibitions, concerts and tours of the building.

Funeral services for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Presidents Reagan and Ford were held at the National Cathedral, and Presidents Woodrow Wilson’s tomb can be found there. Martin Luther King Jr. preached at the National Cathedral, right before he died. Visitors can take an elevator to the Pilgrim Observation Gallery, at the top of the building for a magnificent view of Washington, DC.

History of the Construction - Architects, Frederick Bodley and Henry Vaughan were commissioned for the original design of the National Cathedral, during the early phase of construction in 1907. However, World War I intervened, and construction didn’t begin again until 1921, with architect, Philip Hubert Frohman taking over the project until 1972, with yet, another work stoppage during the years of World War II. Construction stopped completely on the National Cathedral from 1977 through 1980 due to lack of funds for the project.

Gargoyles and Darth Vader - Finally, in 1990, the National Cathedral was completed, to critical acclaim for its modern interpretation of classic Gothic architecture, with a center tower at 301 feet (92 m), the tallest point in Washington, DC. The interior of the National Cathedral is impressive with several small cathedrals, and stained glass windows. The exterior is adorned with scores of gothic gargoyles and angels. The northwest tower features a sculpture of Darth Vader that is quite popular with children. There is also an adjoining Bishop’s Garden and two gift shops to explore.

Where is the National Cathedral: At the corner of Massachusetts Av. & Wisconsin Av., NW

How to get to National Cathedral: Subway to Dupont Circle station (red line), than bus N2, N3, N4, or N6

Opening Hours: Monday –Friday: 10 am–5:30 pm; Saturday: 10 am–4:30 pm; Sunday: 8 am–6:30 pm

Washington National Cathedral

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