Washington DC: the Capital of the United States of America

Washington DC the Capital of the United States of America

I have always dreamed of travelling, meeting new people, admiring their architecture, and immerse in their culture. And one of my dream vacation spot would be Washington DC.

washington01The most famous spots in Washington DC all in one shot: Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the United States Capitol

We have constantly seen Washington DC in movies and television as an icon and symbolism of the United States of America. These movies and shows have influenced majority of the people to visit such a strong and powerful nation. And I am no different from the rest of the crowd. I want to witness and admire the place that is an emblem of a great country.

So now, let me introduce to you, Washington DC.

WASHINGTON DC

Washington, District of Columbia or commonly called Washington “the District” or DC is the capital of the United States. Being the capital of a great nation, it is the seat of power. One could find historic buildings, important landmarks, monuments, and a lot more.

washington02The shot was taken in 2003 showing Washington DC with the Washington Monument in the foreground and the White House in the upper right

The capital district was established in 1790 under the Residence Act. According to this act, “a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is not part of any U.S. state.”

Thus, it was decided that the district was established in the East Coast. Both Maryland and Virginia gave a portion of their territory to establish the capital district. The newly established district was named Washington in honor of George Washington. Currently the total area of Washington DC is 68.3 square miles.

The city experiences a humid subtropical climate with four seasons: spring, fall, winter, and summer. During the winter season from December to February the city experiences snow with an average temperature of 3.3 degrees Celsius.

Summers occur during June to August with an average temperature of 26.6 degrees Celsius. Spring and fall are typically warm with temperatures averaging 15 degrees Celsius.

washington03Spring time by Washington Monument

As mentioned, there are a lot of things to see in Washington. Listed below are some of the most popular places.

IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS

WHITE HOUSE

To top the list of important government buildings in Washington DC is the White House. This is the official residence and office of the President of the United States. The infrastructure was inspired by the neoclassical style. Throughout years addition and extension of the original building commenced and certain restoration were done.

The whole property is declared as a National Heritage Site.

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The White House
Top: Northern façade; Bottom: Southern façade

UNITED STATES CAPITOL

Aside from the White House, another famous attraction is the United States Capitol. The said building is the office of the legislative branch or the US Congress. Similar to the White House, the US Capitol was inspired by the neoclassical style.

washington05US Capitol at Washington DC

WASHINGTON DC CITY HALL

Washington DC City Hall is also known as John A. Wilson District Building or simply Wilson Building, JAWB, or District Building. The building is used for municipal offices, office of the mayor and district council. It is one of Pennsylvania Avenue’s National Historic Site.

washington06Washington DC City Hall

NATIONAL MONUMENTS AND MEMORIALS

WASHINGTON MONUMENT

The most famous landmark aside from the White House and United States Capital, and a favorite background in movies is the Washington Monument. It is an column built on the National Mall (a national park) in honor of George Washington, the first American president.

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The monument was built from marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss at a height of 554 feet and 7 and 11/32 inches or 169.045 meters making it the tallest obelisk in the world; it is also the tallest stone structure in the world. Having these two recognitions makes the column noteworthy of a visit.

LINCOLN MEMORIAL

Right across the Washington Monument and on the western end of the National Mall one could find the Lincoln Memorial. It was built to commemorate President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the country. This had been the site of well-known speeches such as Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

washington08Aerial view of Lincoln Memorial

washington09Lincoln Memorial

The exterior of the building was inspired by Greek Doric temples. And inside one can see “a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln.” Also displayed inside are inscriptions of two of Lincoln’s most famous speeches: The Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address.

THOMAS JEFFERSON MEMORIAL

America would not be America if not for the Declaration of Independence which was drafted and written by Thomas Jefferson. Because of this important contribution, a memorial (Thomas Jefferson Memorial) was erected in honor of him. The said building followed a neoclassical design and was built on the Tidal Basin. In the middle of the building is a bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson.

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VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL

Aside from honoring precious presidents, America also honors those who fought hard during the war. The government built national memorials in the city, one of which is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial It spans a total of 3 acres which is divided in three parts: three soldier statue, the Vietnam Woman’s Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Among the three, the most famous is the latter.

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NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL

Another famous memorial place, which is also located on the National Mall is National World War II Memorial. This was built in honor of the American members of the armed forces and civilians who served during World War II. The memorial consists of 56 pillars and two triumphal arches built around a plaza and fountain.

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PARKLAND

About 19 percent or 7,464 acres of the city are parks.

NATIONAL MALL

Aerial view of National Mall including the Lincoln Monument, Washington Monument, and US Capitol

For several times the place National Mall had been mentioned. It is well known to be the location of Washington Monument, Lincoln Monument, the Reflecting Pool, National World War II Memorial,and the US Capitol. Annually it receives about 24 million tourists.

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ROCK CREEK PARK

The most famous is Rock Creek Park which occupies 1,754 acres. The said park is an urban forest at the northwestern region. One could find various species such as the raccoon, deer, owls, and coyotes. Tourists could enjoy various recreational activities including golf, tennis, walking, hikes, and picnics. This is the fourth-oldest national park in the country.

washington14Beach Drive in fall

washington15Rock Creek

MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES

A city is not complete without museums and libraries that showcase the rich historical past and the visions of the future of the city. Libraries were also built to help young minds learn. Lucky for Washington DC, there are a number of museums and libraries, most of which have free entrance fees. Here we have listed a few of the museums that are a must see.

NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART

washington16The West building of the National Gallery of Art, with the East Building and the United States Capitol visible behind and to the left

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

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NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM (NASM)

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NATIONAL ARCHIVES

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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

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See More:

Official Tourism Site:
http://washington.org/

Washington D.C.
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/washington-dc

Washington D.C. Travel Guide:
http://www.fodors.com/world/north-america/usa/district-of-columbia/washington-dc/

Ecstatic Globetrotter

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