Sometimes, it is very easy to find your way to a sight: you do not need a map or directions. Such is the case with Washington Monument. This obelisk has been, and still is, the tallest structure of the capital of the United States. Moreover, it is centrally located on the Mall, almost exactly at the intersection between the White House, the Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, and Jefferson Memorial. Washington Monument is situated in a spacious area, which makes it stand out even more. Even from a distance, you can see it is a tall building, but the closer you get, the more impressive it becomes. As you climb the hill on top of which the monument was constructed, looking up requires you to put your head in your neck to be able to see the pinnacle.
In the closing days of the 18th century, soon after the death of George Washington, the first President of the United States, it was decided that a monument should be erected in his memory. After decades of debates, the first cornerstone was laid during a ceremony for Independence Day in 1848. More problems had to be overcome, and the monument was finished only in 1888. At the time, it was the tallest structure of the world, until the completion of the much taller Eiffel Tower in 1889. To this day, at slightly under 170 metres, it is the tallest all-masonry structure and the tallest obelisk in the world. Each year, it is takes centre stage at the celebrations of Independence Day.
The obelisk consists of marble blocks without any decoration. Different types of marble were used, which can still be seen as there is a colour difference between the lower and the upper part of the obelisk. A circle of Stars and Stripes surround the base of Washington Monument. Inside, you can wander around on a platform. From here, looking up to the top of the monument is a dizzying experience. For great views over the city, you can either walk the 897 steps or take the elevator. While exploring the surrounding area of the Mall, you will often see Washington Monument again, reflected in a pool or in a lake, or just sticking out of its surroundings.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Washington Monument (U.S.A.). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Washington Monument.
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