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Washington National Cathedral, Washington DC

4.6
#3 of 26 in Historic Sites in Washington DC
Religious Site Architectural Building
Modeled on English medieval-style churches, Washington National Cathedral represents one of the largest cathedrals in the United States and the world. Originally begun in 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt, the final piece was finally placed in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, and accents and decorative work continued for even longer. Of particular note in the church is the organ, constructed of more than 8,000 pipes. Look for the grave of President Woodrow Wilson. Consult the cathedral's schedule if you'd like to attend an Episcopal religious service. Plan your visit to Washington National Cathedral and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Washington DC vacation trip planner.
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Where to stay in Washington DC

Most visitors to Washington, D.C., end up in the East End, the old downtown district containing most of the city's major cultural attractions. For a more authentic Washingtonian experience, consider staying at a smaller hotel just a little north or east of this busy area. Neighborhoods outside downtown offer less expensive accommodations and affordable street parking, as well as opportunities to meet more locals and fewer tourists. Alternatively, try a hotel in Georgetown, packed with high-end shops and Colonial architecture.
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4.6
  • I have been here several times and took my friend's daughter here after she graduated from middle school. She had never seen it. The tour was just enough time to keep her attention and give her an app...  more »
  • The Cathedral is beautiful and offers a great view of DC and the surrounding area if you go up to the 7th floor. Also, if you visit in the afternoon when it is open late it is really nice to see the s...  more »
  • Worth a trip off the beaten path for a reprieve from Capitol/Mall area. Away from crowds in a park like setting. Volunteers provide 30 minute tours around Church. Take the elevator up to the observati...  more »
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  • Beautiful cathedral with both modern and classic touches (flying buttresses and gargoyles, overall design reflects classic European cathedrals, but then there is the Darth Vader gargoyle and large Outer Space themed stained glass window). We paid ~$20pp for entry and did the self tour - I loved the way that you could really explore the entire place on your own, very little is closed to the public - you can go right up to the main alter, choir area, side chapels; up to the 7 floor observation deck which has nice photos with labels detailing what you are seeing in the distance. Wish we had signed up for the tour & tea - the selection of teas and pastries looked yummy! Also has a nice gift shop and the walk around the grounds is very pleasant.
  • Beautiful cathedral. Looks old but compared to European cathedrals it is very young. Great gardens. Very relaxing. We always sit on my parents favorite bench; even though I am an atheist I still love this place.
  • What a gift our visit to the cathedral was! Our guide Andy, who has studied the cathedral since he was 7, provided a wealth of information on the stained glass windows, the design of the building and it's architect and, interesting stories about the folks who have influenced the church and the country! It is truly a masterpiece of a building!
  • Awesome! Have to see and experience for yourself. Words cannot do it justice. The grandeur and craftsmanship is unbelievable.
  • The annual Independence Day Concert is fantastic! It's free and open to the public, so arrive early for best seating choice.