This is a rather sombre place that contains a number of memorials including the Kennedy memorial. There is a hop on hop off bus tour of the site. The bus ticket costs $8.50 and is well worth it especially on a cold and wintry day. There are a number of stops and you get a commentary on the way. The bus will drop you off you can have a look around at your leisure and you can pick up the next bus that comes along every 20 minutes. Don't miss Arlington House which was once the home of Robert E Lee. The Arlington House particularly the slaves’ quarters is very interesting. Try and time your arrival to the memorial of the Unknown Soldier on the hour which is when the changing of the guards happens. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/visitorinformation/ChangingofTheGuard.aspx
If you visit D.C. you must visit Arlington Cemetery and be sure to observe the changing of the guard. It is one of the most impressive events I have ever observed.
There are signs that ask you to be very quiet while in attendance. When I was visited, a few people were talking and I shhh'd them. They didn't like it, but they complied.
The guard is changed every hour on the hour Oct. 1 to March 31 in an elaborate ritual. From April 1 through September 30, there are more than double the opportunities to view the change because another change is added on the half hour and the cemetery closing time moves from 5 to 7 p.m.
Arlington National Cemetery is on the hill above Washington, directly across the river from the Lincoln Memorial. There is great symbolism in this. Arlington is on the grounds of the former estate of the family of Civil War general Robert E Lee.
Most visitors get on the shuttle and want to go directly to see the Changing of the Guard, which is definitely a must see event when you are visiting Washington.
The Changing of the Guard takes place every half hour in summer, every hour thereafter. It is a short ceremony but you won't soon forget it.
Please visit my Arlington pages for more information
As part of the Robert E.Lee memorial, Arlington house has been maintained and is currently undergoing renovation. The beautiful Greek style mansion was the home of the former confederate general Robert E. Lee. It sits up on a hill overlooking the nations capital, the Potomac River and the National Mall.
The grounds of the mansion were converted into a cemetery during the American Civil war to ensure that the general does not return to his home. The mansion stands on 1,100 acres of land, and was built by the step grand son of George Washington.
The house was turned into a memorial for Robert E. Lee by the United States government to honor him. A museum in it show cases the Arlington lineage photos, what each room in the house was used for, even the uniform of the general. It is quite a neat setting. I'm sure when the renovations are complete it will be a much more engaging museum.
This historic house is located on the grounds of Arlington Cemetery. It was Robert E. Lee's house until the Civil War, when the grounds of his plantation were seized and converted into a burial ground for Civil War soldiers. It was undergoing some restoration work when I visited it but it was still worth visting while at Arlington National Cemetery. Notice how small the house is compared to a modern day mansion!
After spending the first day in the US Holocaust Museum, I planned to visit the Arlington National Cemetery on my second day in the D.C. It was a warm and sunny day, I have just had a chat with a friend who comforted me and suggested me to set aside the troubles from work.
I arrived early and there were not many visitors in the entrance hall of the Cemetery. Black and white photo exhibits on the side walls, of the scenes of funeral services of the great men of this country. I asked for a floor plan of the Cemetery. More reading of the display in the Hall. Spasm in my stomach. I boarded the cemetery bus which brought the visitors to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers for the Changing of the Guards.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soliders is situated at the back of an ampitheatre-like plaza. The visitors waited in slience for the ceremony to take place. A family of two young boys and one young girl came to pay tribute to their family. Visitors all rised from the steps, with one hand placed on one's chest, solumnly
I am able to see the changing of the gaurd at the Arlington National Cemintary. It was great to see.
I then went to Georgetown and got on the river cruise and cross the Potomac river, which was great and then went to Madame Tussauds wax museum and had a great time.
The Arlington House (pic 1) was built in 1808 by George Washington Parke Custis(stepson of the first president) and later this was the home of Robert E. Lee that married Mary Anna Custis(daughter of George W.Custis) here. The house was designed in greek revival style. The state confiscated the property during the Civil War and 1/5 of the grounds (200/1,100, much smaller that it is now of course) were used for military cemetery filled with Union dead so to ensure that General Lee wont return here, hopefully the mansion was proclaimed as a memorial to for him and now both sides can show respect here :)
I was disappointed of Arlington House because it was under renovation so the rooms were empty of furniture and you could see only the pics with some basic information(pic 2). The guides (dress in period clothing) were very helpful and answered some of my questions but we didn’t really spend much time in there.
So, we went outside and we enjoyed the amazing view from the pillared front portico, you will notice that the house overlooks the Potomac river, you can look down over the cemetery with DC and The Mall in the background (pic 3), I stood there for a while and took several pictures, tried my zoom of my camera, in pic 4 you can see the Memorial Bridge
The Tomb of the Unknown is probably the most interesting for the visitors of Alrington Cemetery because you can observe the changing of the guard.
The changing takes place in front of the Tomb that was established in 1921 (the block of granite was placed there in 1930), inside the tomb are the remains of unidentified soldier from WWI.
The guard is changed every 30’ so just wait for a while (October to March every 60’) to see the event, the ceremony is very simple. Try to be quite while there. After the ceremony we checked the Memorial Amphitheatre(pic 4) at the back of the Tomb where three times per year you can attend the annual memorial services(Easter, Memorial Day and Veteran Day).
The first sight we visited inside the Arlington cemetery was the gravesite of John Fitzgerald Kennedy who was the 35th president of United States.
You can see the eternal flame (an idea of his wife Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis) which will remind you of the one at Arc de Triumph in Paris.
It is located on the slope below the Arlington House and it’s Kennedy’s final resting place, next to him are the graves of his wife and children.
The white cross on the left (pic 2) marks the grave of Robert F.Kennedy(1925-1968), brother of John F. Kennedy. There are also famous phrases of Kennedy written on the stone (pic 3)
Arlington National Cemetery is a huge cemetery and not a theme park, many people forget that and I was surprised that they were laughing and posing for a pic in front of the stones. Don’t forget that some people may come here for funeral services.
We used the tourmobile that goes there through the bridge behind the Lincoln memorial. Once there (you can also walk over the bridge) you can go to the Visitor Center where you can take maps, ask for info(grave locations etc), buy books or just use the restrooms. Here you can also buy a ticket for the tourmobile that goes inside the cemetery. It costs 7 euros (for free if you have already payed for the tourmobile tour in the Mall) and it makes 3 stops:
PRESIDENT JOHN.F KENNEDY GRAVESITE > TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN > ARLINGTON HOUSE > back to Visitor Center
Of course, if you have a lot of time (and power) you can just walk (for free) inside, have in mind that the place is huge with many hills to climb. Most of the people check the area around the 3 stops but there are other monuments too, I noticed various obelisks, small monuments etc
Of course we affected of seeing so many graves, there were some parts of where they were countless of them, the burial ground houses about 300,000 graves of soldiers (that served in revolutionary war, Civil War, spanish-american war, WWI, WWII, Korean and Vietnam wars) but also 2 presidents, astronauts, supreme court chief justices etc
It is a bizarre site and definitely depressing, especially where there were many small tombs with no name written on them… they were for people that found dead but they weren’t recognized. It made think much more that the “popular” presidents’ graves.
Arlington National Cemetery is open daily 8.00-19.00(October-march till 17.00)
The cemetery has become a must for everybody yearning to see the graves of US Presidents and veterans alike. A stroll around the beautiful monuments (which include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a nice Virginia-style pavillion, the Lee House on top of the hill, and various obelisks) is a nice walk in summer and winter. This area is peaceful and, even though it might sound bizarre,
a place to relax with a wonderful view down to the capital (Washington Monument, Mall, Capitol).
Don't forget to visit the graves of JFK and Jackie!
More than four million people visit the cemetery annually, many coming to pay final respects at graveside services, of which nearly 100 are conducted each week, Monday through Friday.
A first stop on a trip to the cemetery should include the Visitors Center, located by the cemetery entrance, where maps, guidebooks, exhibits, information services (to include grave locations), a bookstore and restrooms can be found. Please note that the cemetery does not provide wheelchairs or strollers and if you require this service you will need to bring your own.
We never thought we will be affected by visiting this shrine, but the sight of so many graves, till your eyes can see is a very depressing sight! We couldn't stay longer than an hour here as the depression set in... Do remember there is a parking fee of $1.5 per hour if you park here.
I think everyone should walk through the cemetery to fully understand the sacrifice our men and women have made for our freedom.
It is our most honored and revered treasure of burial ground. It is the home of more than 285,000 honored and beloved individuals. President John F. Kennedy to world champion boxer Joe Louis is buried here.
You need to venture up towards the hill where the Arlington house is. The tours guides are dressed in period clothing which makes it authentic, fun, and the guides are filled with facinating facts I did not know!
This very house has a rich history which is in direct relation with the Washington, Custis and Lee families. Built by George Washington Parke Custis who was the grandson of Martha Washington by her first marriage to Daniel Parke Custis. After his father died, young Custis was raised by his grandmother and her second husband, George Washington at Mount Vernon. Soon the grown Custis had many passions, but the most important he wanted to preserve the principles of his belove grandfather George Washington.
The Arlington House life began in 1802 and named after the Custis family homestead in Virginia on 1,100 acre his father bought back in 1778. The house was designed by George Hadfield and English architect who was in charge of the construction of the Capitol too.
In 1804 Custis married Mary Lee Fitzhugh and the only child to survive from infancy was Mary Anna Randolph Custis born in 1808. Robert E.Lee mother was a cousin to Mrs. Custis who were close to each other.
After graduating from West Point Robert E.Lee married Mary Anna at Arlington in June.30, 1831. For 30 years this was home for the Lee families.
After many sadfully events Mrs. Lee saw her estate confiscated in 1894 and 200 acres was set asside for military cemetery which was the very beginning of Arlington National Cemetery.