The city of Washington, located on the banks of the Potomac River, is the capital of the United States of America. This is the center of the political and cultural life of the country, famous for its historical sites, museums, parks.
Who and why should come to Washington
Washington is a huge city with over a million people. Representative offices of the US federal government, embassies of foreign states, and international organizations are concentrated here.
People come here to see with their own eyes the unusual planned development and appreciate the architectural appearance of the capital. The attention of tourists is attracted by the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Cathedral.
There are many museums in Washington that preserve the world cultural heritage and present modern technologies. Paintings by Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, masterpieces by Da Vinci, Monet, Raphael hang in art galleries. The Air and Space Museum exhibits objects from the Apollo 11 spacecraft, a spare mirror of the Hubble telescope, and photographs of the solar system.
Washington DC has a vibrant nightlife. There are thousands of cozy bars, clubs and restaurants within the city. People go to U Street Music Hall to dance and listen to a concert of local musicians. Young people have fun in the Black Cat club at discos and theme parties. People come to the All Souls bar and the Dacha Beer Garden cafe to chat with friends, taste delicious food and drink beer.
Washington DC is a popular shopping destination. Outlet shops are open in shopping centers, where it is easy to buy clothes from new and last year’s collections of famous designers at an affordable price.
The capital of the United States is a beautiful flourishing city where modern skyscrapers harmoniously coexist with green parks and squares. The Botanical Park, Constitution Gardens, West Potomac Park are ideal for outdoor walks.
Washington offers interesting entertainment for children. Young travelers can visit the Spy Museum, stroll through the Smithsonian Zoo and ride the rides at Six Flags Park.
A respectable area of the city — Georgetown — is located in the western part of Washington. The local streets are lined with old mansions and chic modern buildings. They open prestigious restaurants, antique shops, shopping centers. There are always a lot of tourists here.
People come to see houses made of traditional American ceramic bricks, admire the Gothic facade of the University of Washington, and visit the Tudor Estate Museum.
In the center of Washington, the National Mall is laid, along which there are monuments and museums. It is here that the memorials to Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, the Museums of Natural History and Cosmonautics, monuments to soldiers of the Second World War, the Vietnamese and Korean Wars are located.
The National Alley is surrounded by a park zone. It includes Constitution Gardens, Walt Whitman Park, West Potomac Park, Columbus Fountains and Temperance. The alley is used for celebrations and holidays. The inauguration of the President of the United States takes place here, political rallies, jazz musicians’ concerts, fireworks on Independence Day are held here.
On the territory of Rock Creek Park there is a zoo, covering an area of 66 hectares. 400 species of animals live among the trees and flower beds. Popular pets of the zoo are Chinese pandas, which are on the verge of extinction.
In addition to these charming bears, you can see giraffes, lions, tigers, monkeys, large populations of marine life, reptiles and insects in the zoo.
In the vicinity of the Capitol in 1850, at the direction of the President of the Columbia Institute, the Botanical Garden was planted. Now it grows 600 thousand plants, many of which are over 150 years old.
The park contains 16 natural zones. There are glass greenhouses with palm trees, cacti and other succulents. Walking in the fresh air, tourists can see the rose garden, butterfly garden, lawn terrace and amphitheatre.
Six flags of America
The theme park in East Washington covers an area of 2.12 km². It is divided into areas that symbolize different parts of the United States, as well as fictional cities from American comics.
On the territory there are attractions, playgrounds, cafes, souvenir shops. Adults and children here ride giant slides, take part in carnival shows and competitions.
Not far from the capital, the plantation of George Washington has been preserved — a historical monument of national importance.
The future president, having inherited this land, built a two-story house, barns, and a distillery on it. He loved his estate and preferred to live there even when he became head of state. The estate houses the George Washington Museum. Guests are shown the courtyard, furniture, personal belongings and the president’s diaries.
Pennsylvania Avenue is the official residence of the President of the United States, built in 1800. The six-story Palladian-style mansion, symbolizing the strength of the American nation, has a total area of 5000 m².
Two floors of the White House are available to the general public. Tourists inspect the famous multi-colored halls for celebrations, the central hall, the Roosevelt room, the Oval Office, the main dining room. The White House is surrounded by Presidential Park with rare trees and shrubs.
The Capitol is a majestic classicist building designed for meetings of the US Congress. Its height is 200 meters. Between the northern and eastern wing there is a cast-iron dome weighing 4 thousand tons, the top of which is crowned with a statue. The western façade is adorned with elegant staircases, arched windows, and columns decorated with maize cobs and tobacco leaves.
Guided tours are offered in some halls. Guests can view the Rotunda with a collection of sculptures and paintings, watch the work of congressmen from specially designated places and take a walk in a beautiful park.
In the vicinity of Washington, it is easy to find the United States Department of Defense — the Pentagon. The huge building was built within two years and put into operation in 1943. It has the shape of a regular pentagon. Each side is 281 meters, the total area of two basement and five above-ground floors is 604 thousand m².
After the events of September 11, 2001, it became difficult to get into the Pentagon. Tours are limited and by appointment only.
Library of Congress
There is a library in Washington DC that contains 168 million books, magazines and newspapers. It functions under the auspices of the Congress and serves government bodies, scientists, universities, schools. There are 18 reading rooms in the interior.
Tourists from all over the world come here to see the magnificent interior, to study valuable historical, scientific and fiction literature. The library preserves the Gutenberg Bible, as well as a collection of ancient papyri and manuscripts.
On First Street, near the Capitol, stands the United States Supreme Court building. It was built in neoclassical style by Cass Gilbert and has 5 floors. External and internal walls are lined with marble. The facade is decorated with statues of Roman gods and prominent political figures.
On the ground floor there is a souvenir shop, cafe, thematic exhibitions. The last one is the library. The rest are for trial. The courtroom is decorated with gilded stucco and red velvet. On certain days it can be visited as part of a tour.
Pavilion of the old post office
Between the Capitol and the White House stands the building of the Old Post Office, built in the Romanesque style. It attracts attention with smooth and smooth lines, semicircular arches, elegant turrets on the roof.
The height of the central tower is 95 meters. It is equipped with an observation deck, which offers a beautiful panorama of the city. Inside the post office there is a shopping center, cafes, offices and a museum that tells about the history of the creation of the mansion.
The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, dating from the last century, is a real decoration of the city. The magnificent structure rises to 92 m and is the second largest neo-Gothic temple in the United States. External and internal design is identical to medieval architectural styles.
Visitors can see frescoes, mosaic windows and sculptures here. In front of the main altar are stones brought from the Chapel of Moses on Mount Sinai, representing the 10 commandments. Famous politicians and generals of the United States are buried in the crypt.
Monuments and monuments
The memorial complex in downtown Washington is dedicated to the sixteenth President Abraham Lincoln, who ruled the country during the Civil War and advocated for the freedom and equality of people. The memorial complex was erected in the form of an ancient Greek temple surrounded by a colonnade.
In the center is a monument to Abraham Lincoln. The President sits in a chair facing the Capitol. Nearby are large stone slabs. They are engraved with Lincoln’s address to the American people at his inauguration and the speech he delivered at the opening of the military cemetery at Gettysburg.
An important landmark of Washington is a granite obelisk in honor of the first President of the United States, erected in 1848. The granite hollow column lined with marble rises to 169 meters and weighs 91,000 tons. It is crowned with a four-sided aluminum pyramid.
Until the Eiffel Tower was built in Paris, the Washington Monument was considered the tallest on the planet. An elevator and a staircase of 896 steps are installed inside the column. Rising up, tourists get to the observation deck, from where they admire the city and its surroundings.
A granite monument in southwest Washington commemorates all those who died in the sinking of the Titanic. On a high pedestal stands a six-meter sculpture of a man with outstretched arms. It symbolizes the selflessness of people who gave their lives so that children and women could be saved.
The monument stands in a picturesque location on the banks of the Washington Canal. People come here to honor the heroes and relax near the water surface.
The memorial is dedicated to one of the founding fathers of the United States — the third president, Thomas Jefferson. The neoclassical complex is a rounded pavilion with columns and a dome.
In the center stands a bronze statue of Jefferson. The President, dressed in a long cloak, stands looking into the distance. The architectural ensemble, built on the shore of an artificial lake, is surrounded by a garden of Japanese sakura.
Monument to Martin Luther King
In 2011, a monument to Martin Luther King appeared in the American capital. Baptist preacher and activist fought for the rights of African Americans. He organized strikes, spoke out against racism, the Vietnam War and was killed by a sniper’s bullet in 1968.
Thanks to Luther King, people thought about racial discrimination, and this helped pass a law against it. Thousands of Americans came to the opening of the memorial to pay tribute to the great man. The statue, carved from a piece of granite, depicts King in full growth. He stands with his arms folded and looks hopefully into the new world.
Museums in Washington
Museum of Aviation and Cosmonautics
The Museum of Aviation and Cosmonautics has a huge collection of aircraft. Exhibits include early models designed by the Wright brothers, World War II aircraft, modern drones, space satellites, lunar soil samples, and photographs of the solar system.
In the museum, you can listen to an interesting lecture on the development of aeronautics, visit a space observatory, a planetarium, or test your own endurance on a flight simulator.
National Gallery of Art
The gallery is located in two large mansions connected to each other by an underground passage. The spacious halls house the works of American and European masters. Paintings, engravings, pencil sketches, sculptures and photographs are presented to the attention of the public. The pearl of the museum is the painting by Leonardo da Vinci «Portrait of Ginevra de Benci».
Museum of Natural History
The museum dedicated to natural objects and phenomena is interesting to visit with the whole family. It has an extensive collection of unique exhibits. Among the popular objects are dinosaur skeletons, stuffed animals, insects from different parts of the world.
During the tour, you can explore exhibitions of marine flora and fauna, rare minerals, and jewelry. Practical classes are regularly held for children, where they gain knowledge about nature.
Museum of African American History and Culture
The ten-story modern building houses the African American Museum, providing detailed information about the events and political figures that influenced the history of black American citizens.
The collection includes clothes of African slaves, shackles and handcuffs, objects found on a sunken slave ship, Nat Turner’s Bible, Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves, Chuck Berry’s convertible.
Museum of the American Indian
The museum, operated by the Smithsonian Institution, is dedicated to preserving the art, history, and language of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. It stores 800 thousand items, including national clothes, medieval weapons, kitchen utensils, wooden and stone figurines, jewelry.
Tourists are told in an interesting way about the tribes of North and South America, their language, crafts, and art. The museum building has a cafe serving traditional Indian cuisine.
International Spy Museum
The museum, which reveals the secrets of espionage, will be equally interesting for adults and schoolchildren. The vault contains 600 items seized from real spies: listening devices, hidden cameras, poison syringes, a lipstick gun, a lighter-shaped camera. An entire floor of the museum tells about the Cold War, America’s confrontation with the Soviet Union, and Soviet intelligence.
National Geographic Society Museum
The museum, initiated by the National Geographic Society, has a collection of interactive exhibits dedicated to scientific research and conservation.
At the exhibitions, you can learn about the life of animals and birds, study the collection of precious stones, learn the details of historical and cultural events. The expositions are dynamically changing and updated, so visitors will be the first to know about important incidents.