The Washington Monument is the tallest landmark in the capital city of Washington DC, in the form of a white marble obelisk. The Washington Monument is located on a hilltop of the National Mall in DC – a connecting straight line between the US Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.
The obelisk is 169.3 meters (555 ft) high and 16.8 meters (55 ft) wide at the base. The monument narrows in height, to the base of the top it is 10.49 meters wide. The wall thickness is also thinner, from 4.60 meters below to 46 centimeters above. The top of the Washington Monument converges as a pyramid for the last 17.3 meters.
The top of the pyramid is made of pure aluminum and serves as a lightning rod. It contains several inscriptions such as foundation stone laying dates, capstone laying dates and names of civil engineers.
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The landmark is surrounded by fifty flags. Each flag represents a state.
The Washington Monument is the tallest obelisk in the world. Until the completion of the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 1889, the monument in Washington DC was the tallest structure on earth.
The Washington Monument was designed by Robert Mills and honors the first President of the United States, George Washington. Inside the monument is a statue of George Washington.
The Washington Monument was originally intended to be erected at the intersection of the Capitol and White House lines of sight. However, since the building ground at this point was very unfavorable, the building site was shifted more in the direction of the Capitol.
The best view of the Washington Monument is from the Lincoln Memorial. From here you can also see the reflection of the Washington Monument in the large water basin (Reflecting Pool) in front of it.
From the Washington Monument’s viewing area you have a wonderful view over Washington DC.
The History of the Washington Monument in Washington DC
The first plans for the construction of the Washington Monument existed in the days of the President of the United States of America, George Washington. But the monument was not erected until after his death. Citizens founded the Washington National Monument Society to collect donations for the construction of the attraction. This allowed construction to begin, but there was not enough money and it came to a standstill for the time being. It was not until 1876, on the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, that the US Congress approved $200,000 and construction work resumed.
The first cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4, 1843. Construction was completed on December 6, 1884. Chester A. Arthur dedicated the monument on February 28, 1885 and opened it to the public on October 9, 1888.
Tickets, Sightseeing & Tour of the Washington Monument
The Washington Monument is open daily from 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. April through September and from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. the rest of the year. Washington Monument tickets are free but require a ticket. Tickets are available at the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Street from 8:30 am. The principle is whoever comes first may choose the time at which he would like to go to the Washington Monument. One person can collect up to six tickets, children also need a ticket for the Washington Monument.
In the high season, tickets for the Washington Monument sell out quickly, so you should queue for tickets on time or reserve tickets in advance on the Internet with a service fee.
If you have a timed ticket, be there about 15 minutes early. You will then be escorted into the security zone in small groups by rangers and then take an elevator to the 8-viewport observation deck at an altitude of 150 meters (500 feet). The elevator ride takes about 70 seconds. After touring the viewing area, descend the monument’s stairs to 490 feet, where you’ll board the elevator again. Visitors with disabilities can board the elevator earlier. In the past you could walk down the entire staircase with 897 steps, but the staircase has been closed to visitors since 1976.
Take the subway to the Monument: Federal Triangle (blue and orange lines) and Smithsonian (blue and orange lines)
On Tuesday, August 23, 2011, the Washington Monument was damaged by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. The National Park Service has temporarily closed the monument to assess and repair the damage.
Address of the Washington Monument attraction in Washington DC
Das Washington Monument in Washington DC
National Mall, 15th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC