The Unique Features of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington DC

During our recent trip to Washington DC, we visited the Washington National Cathedral (officially named The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul), which is a gothic cathedral that rivals any that we have visited in other countries. Although we have been to Washington DC many times, this was actually the first time that we actually went to the cathedral. At the moment, the number of visitors allowed is limited and you should get tickets in advance, but you aren’t required to visit at specific times and can visit anytime during the day of your ticket. Once at the cathedral, you can take a self-guided tour using information provided by the cathedral or simply wander through the cathedral if you prefer.

View of the High Ceilings
View of the Gothic Church’s Architecture
War Memorial Chapel
The High Altar

Obviously the high ceilings of the main cathedral hall are quite dramatic as you walk towards the High Altar located on the opposite side of the entrance. as you face the altar, there are three chapels located to the right of the altar, the War Memorial Chapel, the Children’s Chapel, and the St. John’s Chapel, which is directly adjacent to the High Altar. Sitting in front of the High Altar, which is separated by wooden arches, are two ornate pulpits. One of the pulpits is the Canterbury Pulpit, which is made from stones from the Canterbury Cathedral in the UK. To the left of the High Altar is St. Mary’s Chapel and Holy Spirit Chapel.

Space Window with Moon Rock in the Center of the Top Sphere
Canterbury Pulpit
Looking Back from the High Altar
The Creation Rose Window

Another highlight of the cathedral are the 231 fascinating stained glass windows that are located all around the cathedral hall. There are many traditional types of stained glass windows depicting religious images, but there are many non-traditional windows as well. Some of the more unique are the Space Window, which celebrates America’s exploration of space and actually contains a piece of moon rock brought back by the Apollo 11 astronauts. The Woodrow Wilson War and Peace Window is dedicated to the only president that is buried in Washington DC. And, of course, there is no missing the Creation Rose Window that appears to change color during the day as the sun’s position changes.

Full View of the National Cathedral
Where the Darth Vader Grotesque is Located
Pulpits Just Before the High Altar
Another Stained Glass Window

Walking the exterior of the National Cathedral is equally enjoyable with its height, pointed arches, gargoyles, and stone grotesques. There is a Darth Vader grotesque located on one of the towers, but it is almost impossible to see without binoculars. It was added in the 80’s after a contest was held for children to design a statue for the cathedral. It is worth taking the time to walk around the entire cathedral and there is a self-guided tour that will provide information on some of the 112 gargoyles that adorn the church exterior.

Honoring the Signers of the Constitution
A Look at the Marble Floors
More Unique Stained Glass
Looking Up at the Cathedral

The Washington National Cathedral is not located in downtown Washington DC with all of the Smithsonian Museums, Monuments, Capital, and White House, but it is worth taking the time to visit. The fact that it isn’t located next to all of the other tourist sites is probably one of the reasons that we hadn’t visited it before, especially with so many things to see in Washington DC. We certainly enjoyed our visit and glad that we walked the 60 minutes to get there from where we were staying in the Georgetown area.

Tower Over the Visitors Entrance
The Other Pulpit
Organ in the Cathedral
Another View of the Cathedral

Framing the View of Your World

Whenever we travel, there are often times where you see something through a window or a door and you want to capture what you see in a photograph. In many of those cases, the window or door become part of the photograph and it can add to the story the image is trying to tell. Even if it isn’t an actual window or door other things can frame the image that you are looking at. Here are just a few examples that we have found interesting.

Looking out from the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain
Barred Window Inside of the Cave Where St. Thomas Hid in Chennai, India
Looking Out from a Felucca in Cairo, Egypt
Bell Window at the Top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Shape of Africa in Reverse from Within the Cave of Hercules in Morocco
Columns in the Roman Agora of Athens, Greece
A View from inside a Fortress Church in Romania
View of One of the Towers at Alhambra
Inside of a House in the DakshinaChitra Cultural Living Museum in Southern India
Looking Out From Bran Castle (Dracula Castle) in Transylvania
Another Window in Spain

The World Outside of Your Window

One of the things that we often do is to take photos from our hotel room whenever we visit a new city. It is partially about capturing our first experience as we arrive someplace, but there are times when it is simply that there can be great views from hotel rooms. Obviously we don’t spend a lot of time in our hotel room as we want to spend as much time actually visiting the city, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the time that we do spend in our room. We will often start our day and end our day by looking out of the window to see the weather, enjoy the view, our sometimes see a sunset. The views can be vastly different based upon the places that you are visiting, whether it is a beach, major city, or rural location. For this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge, Windows, we are sharing some of the varieties of views we have seen during our recent journeys. Do you take photos out of the windows of the places that you stay?

Water Towers and Skyscrapers from Hotel in New York

View from Our Room in Nuremburg, Germany

Fountain at Night from Our Room in Rome

Courtyard Outside of Our Hotel in Brasov, Romania

View of Lake Titicaca in Copacabana, Bolivia