Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Iconic Monuments of Washington's Mall

Taking in the sights of The National Mall in Washington DC could well take you weeks, if you explored all the amazing museums in addition to taking in the iconic sights. Over two afternoons this weekend, I managed to see all the outside sights along this massive space along the river in the US capital, and take in so much American history along the way.

Selena and I started by arriving at the back end of The White House from the metro, and peered into the green, manicured lawns through the gated fence. The residence of the President of the 'the home of the brave, and the land of the free' was pretty impressive with it's white marble, and it's strong columns, before walking around to the other side and taking in that iconic lawn and larger columns known from all the news footage and movies!

After gaining a good perspective of the lay out of this important area of town, and indeed the country, from the Old Post Office (which is a whole other post, cos it was pretty impressive!), we walked down to the great lush strip of green that runs from Capitol Hill all the way down to Lincoln in his massive seat.

The Washington Monument is in the centre of this, and rises above everything. Flags rimming the monument were at half mast this weekend, we assume for the horrible tragic shooting massacre in Colorado.

Normally, you can take a trip to the top of the monument for the view from the windows in the peak, however since the earthquake last August this has been closed due to structural fears and repair work. Although I think the view from the monument would be missing the very vantage point you would be looking out from, and thus a major sight of the area.

The east arm of the Mall has museums all the way along it, including the beautiful Smithsonian Castle. The National Gallery, the Air and Space Museum, the National History Museum, the American History Museum, and the American Indian Museum are also hear, and given their size and vast content, a day's outing each of their own, surely!

Walking west on our overcast day, Selena and I took in the war memorials along this arm of The Mall (again, a post for later), and used our imaginations for the beauty of the Reflecting Pool. This pond is also undergoing restorative work, a massive tasks, and this space was dry and empty. The Pool is an iconic piece of this space, from protests, marches and speeches - Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have A Dream" being one of them, delivered to the crowd around this water feature.

This stretch of water leads right up to the Lincoln Memorial, another famous and iconic feature of this strip in DC.

As you get closer to the massive rectangular house for the fourth president of the USA, you can see him in there, seated in his white marble glory. This structure of columns is such a strong monument, and to find the statue of the man sitting in there after climbing the stairs is quite remarkable. A sight you know about from pictures, but is still amazing to be standing at Ab's feet!

A mass of people were here when we got here, as there was all along The Mall, as Americans visited their forefathers, and visitors alike took in the monuments that make up this world power nation.

All the way to the other end of The Mall is another working building, being the United States Congress. We reached this on the second afternoon, completing our lap of the Mall sights. Managing most of this on foot, getting around on bicycles would have been a great option, if it was not for the rain on the first afternoon for this less than confident rider!

This grand, white marble structure is impressive and pretty in real life, with the manicured and perfect gardens all around, and the exquisite detail in and around the dome.


  1. Man, are they STILL doing repairs on the Reflecting Pool??? They were doing works on it when I was there in September last year!! Slackers... Maybe if I'm lucky, it'll be finished by the time I'm back there in January. I won't be holding my breath though!! ;)

    1. Some things I have read say it should be done by Spring 2012, so you should be in luck in Jan. Although you could get to see the ice-skating option of the Pool at that time of year! How awesome!


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