Saturday, May 4, 2013

The National Cathedral

If you're planning on visiting DC this summer, most people will suggest that you go to the National Mall to see the monuments or take a trip to the Air and Space Museum. But one of my favorite places to go to in the nation's capital is the National Cathedral. Anyone can admire the architecture and artistry of this magnificent edifice, even if you aren't religious. Although the outside is reminiscent of other cathedrals (think Notre Dame), there are so many special parts to note at this beautiful place. There are over 100 unique gargoyles along the outside (including one of Darth Vader!), and the stained glass windows are like nothing you've ever seen before.

The windows are my favorite part. I had only ever seen stained glass that was either of abstract shapes or literal scenes from the Bible. However, these windows portray modern stories, including slavery and World War II. And the colors are incredible! When the sun shines through them, the colors are SO vibrant you can't help but stare!

 I have two particular favorite windows. One shows outer space and includes an actual moon rock. The other is the Maryland window. You can clearly see the state flag, and though this photo doesn't show it, at the bottom there is a Baltimore Oriole (the state bird), a Blue Crab, and Black-eyed Susans (the state flower).

There are also many statues and carvings at the Cathedral. Along with the religious figurines are historical figures like President George Washington.

There is SO much to see at the Cathedral that you have to make several trips to take it all in (like the Louvre). From the inside to the outside, from the multiple chapels to the gardens, there is just so much to enjoy! So on your visit to DC, don't forget this gem!

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