The city of Washington is the capital of one of the most powerful world powers, the center of American democracy and a city-symbol for every US citizen. All the power structures of the country are located in Washington: the Congress, the Pentagon, the IMF, the World Bank, the presidential administration.
This city is interesting for tourists because here you can learn a lot about the history of the United States and understand what the "American spirit" is. The best achievements of culture are exhibited in numerous museums, monuments to the first presidents adorn wide avenues, the majestic Capitol building hovers over the city as a symbol of democracy and freedom.
Washington captures with its severity and solemnity. Crowds of people, crazy traffic and round-the-clock non-stop - all this remained in New York. Washington DC has its own special charm.
What to see and where to go in Washington?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
The White house
It looks like a rather modest white building, which houses the administration of the President of the United States. The mansion was built in 1800 under the second American President John Adams. The building consists of six floors (including basement and basement). Two floors are occupied by the family of the incumbent president, the rest are administrative offices, reception halls, dining rooms. Along with the tour, you can see the historical chambers of the White House: Blue, Green, Red rooms and some others.
The building of the US Congress, located on the hill of the same name. It appeared along with the White House in 1800. The building was built in a solemn classical style. The name "Capitol" was borrowed from the Roman Empire, and a deep meaning was invested in it. As the ancient Capitol Hill towered over the Eternal City, so the American Capitol claims universal dominance.
The street that runs from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol building. Along the National Mall are the main Washington memorials, the city's historical museums, the Botanical Garden, and the Smithsonian Institution. Here one of the most famous speeches in the history of the United States was delivered - “I have a dream” by M.L. King, where the fighter for the rights of blacks expressed his vision of the equality of the rights of the black and white population.
Granite white marble obelisk, 169 meters high, erected in honor of the founding father, D. Washington. It was built in the middle of the 19th century with donations from American citizens and private organizations. The column is surrounded by 52 spiers with the flags of the American states. A staircase of several hundred steps leads to the top of the monument, and an elevator is also equipped for convenience and speed.
A complex located within the National Mall. It is dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln. The idea to erect a monument to commemorate the 16th president arose immediately after Lincoln's death, but the memorial did not appear until 1922. The building of the complex is somewhat reminiscent of the ancient Greek Parthenon. The 36-column column symbolizes the 36 states (during Lincoln's presidency, there were only 36 states).
The monument is dedicated to the third US President T. Jefferson, who is called one of the founding fathers. It was his hand that the text of the Declaration of Independence of the United States belongs to. The memorial stands surrounded by a garden of Japanese sakura on the shore of an artificial lake-pool. The architecture of the complex is a strict neoclassical style, which was actively planted in the United States in the early and middle of the 20th century.
Memorial to Veterans of the Korean War
Commemorative complex dedicated to the dead and missing soldiers during the Korean War of 1950-1953. It was an armed conflict between South and North Korea, in which the United States took an active part. The memorial was solemnly opened in 1995, and four years later the work on ennoblement of the surrounding area was completed. The monument is a sculpture of soldiers of various nationalities.
Monument to Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King is a famous defender of the rights of the black population and a fighter for justice and equality, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. A monument in his honor opened in Washington in 2011 in the presence of President Barack Obama and several thousand American citizens (mostly blacks). The monument is located in the park area of the National Mall.
The theater where the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated. It happened in 1865 when Lincoln was in his VIP box watching a play. A native of the slave-owning South of the United States and a fanatic of the old order, D. W. Booth secretly entered the box and shot the president. Now the theater functions as a museum. The building is listed on the US National Historic Places Register.
Library of Congress
The library is considered one of the most beautiful and largest book collections in the world. It was founded in 1800 when the US capital was moved to Washington. About $5,000 was allocated for the purchase of books, which was a very impressive amount for the beginning of the 19th century. Initially, the library halls were intended only for members of Congress. Now the funds of the book depository number about 30 million copies.
Museum of Natural History
A museum run by the Smithsonian Institution with over 100 million exhibits. Collections of minerals, precious stones, minerals, archaeological finds, fragments of space bodies and much more are exhibited here. The museum is free for visitors, it is open seven days a week all year round and closes only on Christmas Day.
Museum of American History
The museum is of the greatest interest to visitors to Washington. It has been voted the most visited museum on the National Mall. More than 5 million people pass through its halls every year. Museum exhibitions tell about the history of the United States, as well as the development of culture, achievements in the social sphere and politics. It also exhibits the personal belongings of the founding fathers and collections of European Renaissance paintings.
Museum of Aeronautics and Astronautics
One of the most interesting museums on the Washington National Mall. Here are exhibited real aircraft, or their life-size copies. The museum also stores spacecraft, rockets, engines, command modules of space stations, spacesuits for astronauts. The exhibition opened in the middle of the 20th century. The museum constantly conducts active scientific and research activities.
Museum of the American Indian
One of the new museums on the National Mall - opened in 2004. Expositions are dedicated to the history and culture of Native American peoples. Here are collected clothes, household items and rituals, weapons, jewelry, coins of various Indian tribes. There is a theater on the territory where the Indians play national instruments, dance and arrange various shows for visitors.
National Gallery of Art
Museum, which contains works of masters of different art schools and time periods. Sculptures, paintings, photographs, graphic drawings by both American and European artists are exhibited here. In total, the National Gallery of Art has about 1,200 paintings. Mostly, these are the works of French, Italian and American masters.
Museum of Journalism and News
Museum dedicated to the history of the emergence and improvement of the media. Through the expositions, one can trace the entire evolution - from the first newspapers and radio to the era of high-speed Internet. In the museum, visitors will see not only exhibits - everyone can try themselves as a reporter and find out how news is created and what goals they pursue, where informational occasions come from.
International Spy Museum
Quite an interesting place where some secrets of intelligence and espionage activities are revealed. There is only one museum like this in the USA. The Advisory Board includes former functionaries of the FBI, CIA and even the Soviet KGB. The collections of the museum exhibit exhibits that shed light on the work of scouts. Separate expositions are dedicated to the history of Soviet (and Russian) intelligence.
The majestic Gothic temple, finally completed in the 90s. XX century. The cathedral belongs to the Protestant Church. The decision to build was made at the end of the 19th century, but the work dragged on for almost 100 years. The temple bears the name of Saints Peter and Paul (again, a reference to the glory of the Roman Empire, which haunts the Americans). The funeral services of the 34th, 38th and 40th Presidents of the United States were held within the walls of the cathedral.
Basilica of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The largest Catholic church in the USA. The temple was built in the Byzantine style. The interior decoration is made in a rather magnificent manner. The basilica was erected in the middle of the 20th century, since then the popes have visited here several times. For American Catholics, the temple is an important spiritual center and a place of pilgrimage. Church employees are active in social and educational work among the parishioners.
United States Supreme Court building
The building on Capitol Hill, where the highest judicial body of the United States sits. The palace was built in 1936 by architect K. Gilbert. The building is an almost perfect example of the classical architectural style. The main facade is decorated with a sculptural group depicting Freedom, Order and Power. Male and female statues on both sides of the main staircase symbolize justice and the rule of law.
Edgar Hoover building
A multi-storey and seemingly unremarkable building on Pennsylvania Avenue. This is where the FBI headquarters is located. Many people have known this house since the X-Files series. The headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was named after Edgar Hoover, the agency's founder and first director. You can get inside the building with an organized tour group.
A giant structure in the shape of a regular pentagon (in Greek - the pentagon), which houses the US Department of Defense. This is the largest office building in the world; about 40,000 employees work comfortably here. Pentagon parking lots are designed for several thousand cars. During the Cold War, the Pentagon was the "zero point" for Soviet nuclear missiles.
The Smithsonian Institution is one of the premier research centers in the United States. The administration of the organization is located in a picturesque neo-Romanesque red stone castle. In the middle of the 20th century, the building was included in the list of national monuments of the United States. The first architectural project was drawn up in the classical style (similar to the Capitol building), but then it was decided to use the Romanesque style characteristic of medieval Germany as a model.
Pavilion of the old post office
An architectural building of the late 19th century with elements of the European Neo-Romanesque style, which was briefly used as a post office. For a long time it stood empty; after reconstruction, shops, offices and restaurants were placed inside. Some government offices are also located here. There are free tours around the pavilion. There is an observation deck on the 95-meter clock tower from where you can admire Washington.
The oldest and most prestigious district of Washington, where luxurious mansions stand among the greenery, antique shops and upscale restaurants work. The heart of the district is Georgetown University, an elite educational institution from which many representatives of the American establishment came out. Georgetown is one of the most picturesque places in the American capital.
Family home of the first US President George Washington 24 km. from the capital. This is an impressive farm, surrounded by plantations. In the middle of the territory there is a house-mansion, where the atmosphere that was here during the life of the leader is preserved. You can take a walk around the estate or look into the office of the president. On the birthday of J. Washington, visiting the estate is free for everyone.
Arlington National Cemetery
Cemetery where the soldiers who fell in the Civil War of 1861-1865 are buried. Over time, this place became the last refuge for several American presidents. John Kennedy and his wife are buried here. The cemetery is located on a picturesque plain and attracts attention with slender rows of white memorial plates. Every year a solemn procession lays flowers on the graves.
US Botanic Garden
The garden appeared in 1820 next to the Capitol (officially it opened only in 1850). 60 thousand plants grow on the territory. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the garden every year. Seeds were delivered here from all over the world, including the most remote ones, thanks to an active advertising campaign. The garden houses the largest greenhouse complex in the United States, divided into natural zones.
Great Falls of the Potomac
Rapids and waterfalls on the Potomac River about 22 km away. from Washington. They are considered the most important and picturesque natural attraction in the entire district. The area is replete with rapids of various categories of complexity, which attracts numerous kayakers. The Potomac River in the area of the falls flows through the territory of the parks of the states of Virginia and Maryland.
cherry blossom festival
The holiday is celebrated annually in late March - early April, when Japanese cherry blossoms bloom in the alleys of Washington. The festival lasts for two weeks until the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Tourists from all over the United States and many guests from other countries come to see this bewitching spectacle. The trees were presented to the American capital by Japan in 1912 as a sign of friendship between the two countries.