We didn't have a chance to see the interior of this beautiful gothic cathedral and as it was raining didn't spend a whole lot of time wandering around the exterior.
I had intended to go back on a clear day to get some more photos but it is not well connected to the metro (about 1 mile away from the closest stop) and I didn't manage to revisit.
About a block away from the Decatur House is this yellow columned, gold domed church that was also designed by Latrobe. It was built in 1816 and was the second building on the Square.
The sign outside the church states that "Every President of the United States since President James Madison has attended occasional services here."
Metro: McPherson Square
Located at 16th and H NW, just north of the White House and Lafayette Square
The National Cathedral is an Protestant Episcopal Church. This is on the Old Town Trolley tour route, but we didn't have time to get off. It's one of the recommended stops to see some great views of Washington from. Never mind the fact that it's a really beautiful church. Maybe next time we'll get a chance to go inside. It's on my itinerary!
Because of a rare convention in the main portion of the National Cathedral, we got to tour some rarely seen areas.
Beautiful with Gothic architecture and playful flying buttresses. Although under the direction of Episcopalians, there are 1,200 services each year. The Cathedral has no parish membership of its own. It's meant to be a house of prayer for all people and religions.
The cathedral stands on a 57 acre plot of land on Mount Saint Albans in Northwest Washington at the corner of Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues. It is 400 feet above sea level. It is the sixth largest cathedral in the world, second largest in the USA. The top of the tower is the highest point in DC. It is open to the public daily from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. There are guided tours available led by docents running on Monday through Saturday at 10:00 am and 12:45 pm. On Sundays the tour starts at 12:30 pm. Behind the scenes tours are also available on Monday through Saturday at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. Sundays this tour starts at 1:30 pm.
On Saturdays there is a Medieval Workshop for families lasting from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
The Pilgrim Observation Gallery has a High Tea every Tuesday and Wednesday (price: $15)
There isn't much in Washington that qualifies as 'off the beaten track.' However, perhaps the National Cathedral isn't as visited as some other landmarks, although it's packed for its Christmas and Easter services. If you go (and you certainly should) go to a service as well as take a tour of the grounds.
If you have been to D.C. before and are looking for something different, I recommend the Franciscan Monastery. Located about a 15 minute walk from the Brookland/Catholic University Metro, the Monastery has multiple chapels, a lovely garden and an underground reproduction of the catacombs of Rome. There is also parking available.
1400 Quincy Street, NE
The Washington National Cathedral.
This is not necessarily something anyone would miss, since it is a prominent architectural feature of the DC skyline. It is overlooked by travelers sometimes however, because of the multitude of other monuments available in Washington. It is a beautiful cathedral, completed in the 1980's after decades of construction. (Not long in comparrison to similar construction feats of the last several hundred years!)
It is a beautiful place and worth the visit. St. Alban's school, an exclusive private institution, is located on the grounds.
While the lines inside the santuary reflect the elegant but simple lines of the exterior, inside, you have the immediate effect knowing you are in a HUGE structure
Actually wanted to get to the back side of the White House so I parked on 16th Street and passed by this church behind the White House.
Looking toward the pulpit, lectern and Communion Table at the front of the sanctuary. The area is flanked by walls of stain glass windows.
The view toward the back of the santuary reflects the overall image of the exterior, elegant but not ornate, simple but not simplistic
"intended for national purposes, such as public prayer, thanksgiving, funeral orations, etc.,and assigned to the special use of no particular Sect of denomination, but equally open to all."
The cathedral will probably never be fully finished as the stone mason and carving crafts necessary to create such a building are dying out.
In 1893 congress granded a charter creating
the protestant Episcopal Cathedral foundation and in 1907 the first stone was laid.
The official name : Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.