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Washington National Cathedral

Photo by F Delventhal

The history...

The Washington National Cathedral is a beautiful example of Gothic Revival architecture and an important part of American history. Located in Washington, D.C., it is the sixth-largest cathedral in the world and the second-largest in the United States.

The idea for a national cathedral was first suggested by Pierre L'Enfant, who designed the layout of Washington, D.C., in the late 1700s. However, it wasn't until 1893 that Congress created the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation to build it. President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone on September 29, 1907, which marked the official start of construction.

The cathedral was designed by British architect George Frederick Bodley and American architect Henry Vaughan. They envisioned a Gothic Revival structure similar to medieval European cathedrals. Construction took place in stages and depended on donations, which meant it took over 83 years to complete. The cathedral was finally finished in 1990, with President George H.W. Bush attending the final dedication.

Throughout its history, the Washington National Cathedral has been important for national events. It has hosted state funerals for several U.S. presidents, including Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford. The cathedral has also been a place of comfort following national tragedies, such as the September 11 attacks.

The cathedral is filled with beautiful details, including intricate stone carvings, colorful stained glass windows, and impressive vaults and arches. Some notable features include the Space Window, which contains a piece of moon rock, and the Darth Vader grotesque, a fun modern addition.

Source ChatGPT


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Washington D.C., journey on...

Founded after the American Revolution, it's now the capital of the US.