Washington National Cathedral Tours

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Open to all faiths and creeds, the Washington National Cathedral conducts services for many faiths and peoples. Martin Luther King Jr gave his last Sunday sermon here; now it's the standard place for state funerals and other high-profile events. It’s often considered the country’s most beautiful church.

The building is elegant, but also powerfully Neo-Gothic. With its pale limestone walls, flying buttresses, intricate carving and exquisite stained glass, it is intended to rival Europe's great cathedrals. Take the elevator to the tower overlook for expansive city views; posted maps explain what you see. Chapels in the main sanctuary honor the Apollo astronauts, Martin Luther King Jr, Abraham Lincoln, and abstract ideas like peace and justice.

The endearing Children's Chapel is filled with images of real and imaginary animals. Famous folks like Helen Keller and Woodrow Wilson are buried downstairs in the crypt. Outside, walk through the charming Bishop's Garden, a small English-style garden with winding paths that lend a mood of solitude.

Practical Info

The Washington National Cathedral is located northwest of downtown, and north of Georgetown. You can get here via metro or bus. The 11am Sunday service features lovely choral music and a 10-bell peal of the carillon afterward. Cathedral choristers sing Evensong at 6:30pm Tuesday to Thursday during the school year.

Address: Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW, Washington D.C. 20016, USA
Hours: Open Mon - Fri 10am - 5:30, Sat 10am - 4:30, services Sun only
Admission: Free
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