Washington - Washington guide, attractions and pictures
The City of Washington
, DC, set along the winding Potomac River, is a city with southern charm, with a distinct political and international flair. Washington, DC was originally carved out of a ten-mile tract of land from sections of Virginia and Maryland, in the late 18th century, to create a governmental district for Americaís capital.
The District of Columbia is the official capital city of the United States
, home to the White House
, the United States Senate and House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, and other governmental institutions, exuding political power and intrigue. Sleek, black, presidential limousines frequently zip through the streets, with occasional glimpses of the president and other government officials through the tinted glass windows.
The neoclassical architecture of the White House, the official presidential residence and seat of power, to the imposing, domed Capitol building
, and the many historical monuments, and museums, all give a visitor a glimpse of the rich history and vitality of the American political system. Visitors can get tickets to tour the White House, and view a live session of Congress, from their state representativeís office, or embassy, for a foreign visitor.
The Museums and Monuments
- A visit to DC is not complete without a tour of the many magnificent, historical monuments and museums situated along the Mall
, a national public park, complete with a reflecting pool and an ancient childrenís carousel. The Washington Monument
, an imposing obelisk, style structure, looms on the western edge of the Mall, dominating the District, with its white marble exterior. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the 555-foot monument, for a magnificent view of DC and surrounding Maryland and Virginia.
Other monuments to see are; the Lincoln Memorial
, Thomas Jefferson Memorial
, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, National World War II Memorial, Korean Veteranís Memorial, and the United States Navy Memorial. A nighttime visit, with the majestic, monuments illuminated against a dark sky, is an experience not to be missed. The many writings of Lincoln and Jefferson are etched into the marble walls of the monuments.
The Museums in DC are some of the best in the world, with most of them available to visit without an admission charge. A visitor to this capital city, can take an inexpensive bus or subway ride to the Mall area, and happily spend hours exploring the many, free museums. The National Gallery of Art
houses world-famous masterpieces such as, da Vinciís "Ginevra de'Benci", Botticelli's "Adoration of the Magi", and significant collections by the renowned French Impressionists, Degas, Monet and Renoir.
The world-famous, Smithsonian Museum
is actually a collection of 19 separate, art and history museums, including the National Zoo. The most popular are; The Air and Space Museum
, that has the original Apollo 11 space module, the Natural History Museum
, that houses dinosaur skeletons, and the Hope Diamond, the Freer Gallery and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden for modern and Asian art, and sculpture.
- Washington, DC is full of funky, hip and exclusive neighborhoods
, featuring excellent shopping, sightseeing and dining in ethnic restaurants. Try Dupont Circle for the people watching at its many outdoor cafes, and for a tour of the row of foreign embassies. Georgetown
offers many exclusive boutiques, restaurants and a lively nightlife, amidst historic architecture with quaint cobblestone streets. Nearby Georgetown University, adds to the vibrant nightclub scene with its partying college students.
The Foggy Bottom neighborhood near the White House, offers such attractions as the, International Spy Museum, The Corcoran Museum, the Renwick Gallery, and Fordís Theatre, where President Lincoln was shot.
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