The 32 best sights in Washington – descriptions and photos
First of all, the White House is a symbol of the American nation and the power of presidential power. As statistics show, many Russians confuse the White House with the Capitol, the building where the U.S. Congress meets. To avoid confusion, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the history of the legendary White House.
Washington D.C. City Museum
Want to learn about the history of the heart of the United States? Head immediately to the Washington Town Museum, a project of the Metropolitan Historical Society. In this museum you’ll find a variety of interesting exhibits that will tell you about the fascinating life of this legendary city.
Capitol Hill in Washington
The Capitol Building, the meeting of Congress, is located in the heart of the U.S. capital and is one of the main landmarks of America. You could say that the Capitol in Washington is a worthy monument on a pedestal of honor. About 4.5 million tourists visit the famous Congress building every year.
International Museum of Espionage
The only museum in the world that reveals to its guests absolutely every map of espionage activities and thereby puts secret agents on the spot, is located in the very core of Washington, not far from the National Mall. It is one of Washington’s youngest and most visited museums.
Museum of Journalism and News
Have you ever heard of Nellie Bly? She was a journalism legend of her time. As a reporter for Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World newspaper, she faked serious mental illness in order to get into a madhouse on Blackwell Island in New York City.
National Gallery of Art
If you are a connoisseur of art, then you will appreciate the collection of the National Gallery of Art. The museum features a wealth of the finest works of art from major private collections.
The Pentagon is considered the largest office building in the world and is located near Washington, DC. Construction of the Pentagon was finished in January 1943 and lasted only 16 months. The monolithic building was erected in the neoclassical style.
American Holocaust Memorial Museum
Statistically, the most visited history museum in the world (since 1993, the museum has welcomed about 20 million people) is the American Holocaust Memorial Museum, serving as a memorial to the millions of people who were among the victims of the terrible genocide.
Library of Congress
This library has quite a rich history. It opened in 1800 on the Capitol grounds and at first only the president, vice president, senators, and members of Congress had access to it. In 1851, during a fire set by the British.
What kid doesn’t love the zoo? Unless one has never been there. The main attraction at the Washington Zoo are the adorable pandas with Chinese names like Tian Tian and Mei Jiang.
Washington’s Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, owned by the Anglican Church, is what Americans call the National House of Prayer. This magnificent example of Neo-Gothic architecture stands on the highest hill in the capital; construction began in 1907 and was completed 83 years later.
Washington Supreme Court
Since its inception, the court has wandered from city to city as the U.S. capital moved more than once after the country’s declaration of independence. For a time it was housed in the Capitol, but as the House and Senate grew, a new building was built.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.
An introduction to the East is best begun at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The three levels of this museum permanently display Sackler’s collection of artwork created by the peoples of Asia, assembled by the physician-researcher Sackler.
The Lincoln Memorial in central Washington, D.C. is dedicated to the 16th president of the United States, A. Lincoln. This great American leader was head of state during the Civil War between the North and South in 1861-65, he believed in democracy and freedom of citizens and supported the fight against slavery.
The Titanic Memorial, a 6-foot granite sculpture of a man with his arms wide open, graces the Washington Channel waterfront. The terse inscription on the pedestal reads, “To the brave men who died in the Titanic disaster of April 15, 1912. They sacrificed their lives to save women and children.”
Mall and Memorial Parks
After the many excursions you always want to relax and just walk the streets of the city, or better yet, the alleys of the park. However, you can combine the pleasant with the useful and during the promenade get acquainted with a few more sights.
For many years, the Washington National Monument has topped the list of the most sought-after attractions in the United States. About 6 million people visit it each year. Despite its impressive size, the obelisk cannot accommodate everyone.
Museum of Women in Art
How is women’s art different from men’s art? Perhaps the answer to this philosophical question can be found at the National Museum of Women in Art. Whether this unusual museum reeks of feminism is for you to judge.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
If you want to enjoy paintings from around the world that are less than a quarter of a century old, the Hirshhorn Museum is the place to go. Most modern works of art are housed in this museum, among which paintings by 20th century artists are rightly the basis of the entire museum collection.
National Academy of Sciences
A visit to the main educational institution in the United States, the National Academy of Sciences, is always interesting, especially when an entertaining tour is accompanied by the unique opportunity to attend exhibitions, lectures, concerts, and other events organized by the tour department of the Academy of Sciences.
Washington, D.C. is the main political center of the United States, located on the banks of the Patomac River. It is the most “independent” city, because it does not belong to any state. It was named in honor of its founder, the first president, George Washington, who defended U.S. freedom from the British colonists. It is in this city that the headquarters of major banks and organizations are located, as well as the main government buildings where the mayor, municipal council, Congress and Senate meet. Foreign embassies, American departments and ministries, the Pentagon, the FBI, all of them are located in Washington, DC. The city’s importance to the United States and the American people is extremely high, so the spirit of patriotism is literally in the air here.
Washington, D.C., is famous for its architectural monuments, some of which are considered symbols of America. There are also famous memorials, landmark buildings, gorgeous parks and malls, and countless galleries and museums that house an incredible collection of paintings and artifacts. Millions of tourists come to Washington each year to see the city’s sights, which are nestled majestically in the heart of the proud American capital.
In Washington, D.C., you’ll find a large concentration of national museums, all of which are worthy of your attention. Each museum will provide you with plenty of interesting exhibits to explore. What’s more, you will not have to pay to enter the museums.
A Tourist’s Memoir
While it is possible to visit many of Washington’s attractions for free, you will still encounter long lines for admission tickets. There is a way to avoid this: buy a Washington DC Power Pass for 1 to 5 days that will save you time and money. Not only will it allow you to get into many of the most visited tourist destinations without queuing, the card also offers a number of privileges. You can order it online (price 65-150 USD, depending on the number of days ordered). On your mail will come a voucher, which you will then exchange for a pass card at the issuing office Power Pass (addresses are listed on the voucher).
Washington, D.C.: all of U.S. history in 177 km²
Washington D.C. is an amazing city, its history is fascinating and makes you admire the willpower of Americans. Neither fires, nor wars, nor any other hardships could break the patriotic spirit of this proud nation. And we can observe the result of the desperate struggle of the American people for the independence and well-being of their country on the example of its capital, Washington. And no wonder, because it is here that inquisitive tourists can “read” the entire history of the United States from 1776 to the present day.
The White House Museum of Modern Art Lincoln Memorial National Theater Library of Congress Eastern Market Chinatown Potomac River
This site contains Washington attractions – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular guidebooks and presented by type, name and rating. Here you will find answers to questions: what to see in Washington, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places in Washington.
The White House
The foundation stone for the future official residence of the presidents of the United States, the world-famous White House, was laid on October 13, 1792. It was designed by architect James Hoban, with the active participation of George Washington.
The first president of the United States not only made adjustments to Hoban’s design, but was also an active participant in choosing the site. According to Washington, it was to be a site on the Potomac River that would not exceed ten square miles. Eight years later, on November 1, 1800, construction, for which $2.5 million was spent, was completed.
The building of the presidential residence is in the Palladian style, which is based on elements borrowed from ancient Greek temple architecture and the strict observance of symmetry.
The interior rooms of the White House have a different style, each of them having not only their original finish and purpose, but also their own names. The Oval Blue Room is intended for official receptions, the Green Room for informal meetings. The presidents’ office is the Oval Office. Visitors to the White House can see personal belongings of former U.S. presidents as well as their family members.
Coordinates : 38.89776300,-77.03630800
Museum of Modern Art
This museum is housed in a very nice building with a combination of old and new architecture. The portraits are great. It’s like a chance to visit with some delightful people from American history. It’s just magical. And the contemporary art is a lot of fun as well.
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A visit to the Lincoln Memorial is a popular tourist destination in downtown Washington. It was erected in the early twentieth century to commemorate Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. He became famous for leading the Northern states to victory in the bloody Civil War, ending an era when the economy was based on slave labor. It took eight years to build the memorial complex. It symbolizes President Lincoln’s central message of faith in human freedom.
The architecture of the Memorial resembles an ancient Greek temple – the building is shaped like a rectangle, which consists of 38 white marble Doric columns in height. The height of each column is about 13 meters and the diameter is more than 2 meters. Two of the columns design the entrance to the memorial, while the other 36 represent the number of states that made up the country during the Lincoln administration. The total height of the complex exceeds 50 meters.
The main attraction inside the memorial is a huge statue of Lincoln, which weighs 175 tons. Pictured in a pensive pose, the president seems to be looking at the Washington Monument and the Capitol. Nearby are two large slabs, one carved with Lincoln’s speech during his second inauguration and the other with his speech after the battle of Gettysburg.
The memorial complex is especially beautiful at night – the night illumination is striking in its originality and majesty. Next to the complex is the famous Sparkling Pool, attracting millions of tourists from around the world. This is one of the places which should certainly be visited by every tourist who wants to get acquainted with the capital of one of the greatest world powers.
In photo mode, you can view the sights in Washington, D.C. by photo only.
The National Theatre in Washington, DC is the oldest theater in the United States, with performances since 1835. The National Theatre’s productions, plays, and musicals are on a par with those of Broadway. It survived five huge fires in the 19th century, one of which broke out right during a production of Beauty and the Beast. The building has been reconstructed on the same site five times, the last major renovation occurring in 1984.
The theater was founded by prominent citizens of the city led by William Corcoran, who wanted a posh theater in their capital city. The first production at what was then not the National Theatre was Man of Peace. The theater worked almost continuously, its audience was mostly the city’s high society – a few blocks from the theater building is the White House. The name of the theater changed several times, depending on the change of ownership. For a while it was even run by the famous actor Joseph Jefferson.
Now the National Theatre boasts a 1,676-seat auditorium. It has hosted such famous premieres as Madame Butterfly and West Side Story. At various times its stage has hosted such international theater stars as Jenny Lind, Sarah Bernhardt, Vivien Leigh, Katharine Hepburn, Helen Hayes and many others. Even today, the National Theatre maintains a tradition of staging Broadway and Broadway plays.
Coordinates : 38.89667800,-77.03055400
Library of Congress
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is one of the largest libraries in the world and the oldest public cultural institution in the United States. It is an architectural landmark in addition to its unique collections. The Library of Congress complex consists of three buildings on Capitol Hill that are connected by underground passageways as well as a depository in Virginia.
The history of the Library is filled with many dramatic events, as is the history of the Capitol Building, which housed it for most of the 19th century. The library has suffered several times from fires, and most of the books that came to the library as a gift from the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, were lost in the fire.
In 1897 a new library building with Italian Renaissance elements was built. Twenty-six artists and 22 sculptors worked on the design of the new building, and their combined creative efforts resulted in a true work of art. In addition to its architectural charms, the library represented an engineering marvel of its time: it had its own power station, fireproof book depositories, and special elevators for books. The main facade of the library building is adorned with a magnificent fountain, reminiscent of Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain.
The collection of the Library of Congress numbers over 132 million books in 470 languages of the world, hundreds of thousands of microfilms, about 5 million maps, sheet music, numerous engravings, photographs and even comic strips, over 1 million copies of newspapers published in the last three centuries. It is a truly unique and versatile collection of literature.
Coordinates : 38.88832700,-77.00446800
The Oriental Market in Washington, D.C., is the oldest public market and has been the center of commerce for more than 200 years. It is located on Capitol Hill, in a historic 19th-century brick building recognized as a landmark. The Oriental Market is much smaller than traditional public markets, but it remains a culinary treasure trove filled with history, tradition and delicious food.
There is a wide variety of farm products, including fresh meats, baked goods, cheeses, vegetables and fruits. The attraction of the Oriental Market is the flea market, which amazes with its variety. Artisans and antique dealers offer a wide variety of goods from all over the world.
In the gallery of the market there are art exhibitions, music and theater performances. Oriental Market has a long history and is one of the attractive tourist sites.
Coordinates : 38.88645600,-76.99631100
Chinatown is one of the most interesting places in Washington. Active construction in this area began in the 1930s when the city authorities encouraged the Chinese to come here from the inner city.
Nowadays Chinatown is a world-famous tourist area with many Asian restaurants and souvenir stores. Here is the famous Arch of Friendship, made in the style of traditional Chinese gates. It was built in 1986 and features seven pagoda roofs with colorful murals and 272 dragons in the style of the Qing and Ming dynasties.
Chinatown is renowned for its annual Chinese New Year celebrations, various festivals, and colorful costume shows. The old Patent Office building houses two museums that are part of the famous Smithsonian Institution: the National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of American Art.
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The Potomac is one of the major waterways of the United States, forming a significant section of the border between the states of Maryland and Virginia, and West Virginia. The river originates in the Appachee Mountains and flows into the Chesapeake Bay of the Atlantic Ocean. The river’s banks are picturesque: at Harpers Ferry, it flows through a rocky gorge in the Blue Mountains and forms a waterfall, and it’s also a haven for fishing enthusiasts.
Europeans first set foot in the area around 1570, when the Spaniards visited it. Then in 1608 Captain John Smith described and mapped the river, and Virginia traders settled there. A few years later, the Potomac became the colony’s main transportation artery. During the Civil War, the river formed the northeastern border of the Confederacy of Southern States.
The origin of the word “Potomac” comes from the name of one of the Indian tribes that inhabited the southern shore. Historians believe it meant “trading place” or “place where tribute is paid. As for the Indians themselves, they called the river “goose.
Coordinates : 38.87874000,-77.04584900
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