The Washington Monument is a 555-ft. marble obelisk that stands as a sentinel and memorial to the nation's first president. It is the most prominent landmark in Washington DC, and anchors the National Mall. The cornerstone of the monument was laid in 1848, but construction was not finished until 1884, as it was halted during the Civil War. In fact, astute observers can see a change in the type of marble at about the first third of the structure's height, visible evidence of the changes that swept the country during the war.
It is the tallest structure in DC, and is graced by 50 flags at its base, symbolizing the 50 states of America.
Admission is free, but you do need a ticket which is issued at the small screening facility before the monument's elevator, a glass-walled affair that treats viewers not only to a cityscape but also to a view of the 192 carved stones that line the interior walls, gifts from all 50 states and several foreign countries.
From the top, viewers enjoy a 360-degree view of the capital: the Capitol Building and Smithsonian complex to the east, the White House to the north, the Lincoln Memorial to the west, and the Jefferson Memorial to the south.
- 9am to 4:45pm daily
- Metro Stop:
- Blueline or Orangeline to the Smithsonian Station
- Location: 15th Street NW and Madison Dr NW, Washington DC
- Phone: 202-426-6841
- Website: www.nps.gov