With its awe-inspiring stained-glass windows, Gothic spires, and intricate flying buttresses, the Washington National Cathedral may appear centuries-old, but this grand masterpiece of architecture actually took shape during the 20th century. While it is affiliated with the Episcopal Church, this house of worship warmly welcomes individuals of all faiths to its majestic location, nestled on the highest point in the heart of Washington, D.C.
A rich history of architectural marvels weaves through this iconic cathedral. Construction of this monumental edifice commenced in 1907, culminating in its completion 83 years later, in 1990. Crafted from exquisite Indiana limestone, the cathedral stands tall, with a central tower soaring 30 stories high. Its interior reveals a nine-bay nave adorned with 215 resplendent stained-glass windows, including one graced with a remarkable moon rock. Beneath this hallowed space lies a crypt level, the resting place of luminaries such as Helen Keller and President Woodrow Wilson. Ascend to the nave level, and you’ll encounter an intricately carved wooden choir area, along with a multitude of serene chapels, each with its own unique story to tell.
To experience the cathedral’s spiritual resonance, attending church services or musical performances is a wonderful opportunity. Enthusiasts of specialized experiences will find an array of ticketed specialty tours available, including seasonal gargoyle hunts, artisanship-themed walks, and tower climbs.
If you enjoyed reading this post or have visited the National Cathedral before, leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media!