Attractions In Washington, DC, USA
March 27, 2012 by staff
Attractions In Washington, DC, USA, At 1700 acres, Rock Creek is twice the size of New York’s Central Park and feels a hell of a lot more wild. You can be out here and feel utterly removed from the city. Even coyotes have settled into the wilderness (they’re not dangerous, by the way). Rock Creek Park begins at the Potomac’s east bank near Georgetown and extends to and beyond the northern city boundaries.
Narrow in its southern stretches, where it hews to the winding course of the waterway it’s named for, it broadens into wide, peaceful parklands in Upper Northwest DC. Terrific trails extend the entire length, and the boundaries enclose Civil War forts, dense forest and wildflower-strewn fields.
Both grim summation of human nature and fierce confirmation of basic goodness, the Holocaust Museum is unlike any other museum in Washington, DC. In remembering the millions murdered by the Nazis, it is brutal, direct and impassioned. Visitors are given the identity card of a single Holocaust victim, narrowing the scope of suffering to the individual level while paying thorough, overarching tribute to its powerful subject.
Many visitors leave in tears, and few are unmoved. James Ingo Freed designed the extraordinary building in 1993 and its stark facade and steel-and-glass interior echo the death camps themselves.
Oldest joke in DC: ‘So, what part of Washington is his monument modeled on?’ Yeah, that’s right, America has a bigger obelisk than you. At 555ft the monument is not only the tallest building in DC (by federal law no structure can reach above it), it is also the tallest masonry structure in the world. Construction began in 1848 but a lack of funds during the Civil War kept building in a quagmire and the 90,854-ton, brick-and-marble structure was not completed until 1888. The original marble was drawn from Maryland, but the source dried up about a third of the way through construction and contractors had to turn to Massachusetts for marble.
Devoted to the architectural arts, this museum is appropriately housed in an architectural jewel: the 1887 Old Pension Building. Four stories of ornamented balconies flank the dramatic 316ft-wide atrium, and the Corinthian columns are among the largest in the world, rising 75ft high. An inventive system of windows and archways keeps the so-called Great Hall constantly glimmering in natural light, and this space has hosted 17 inaugural balls – from Grover Cleveland’s in 1885 to Barack Obama’s in 2009.
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