The National Cathedral in Washington DC is considered as the crossroad of religious and secular life in the federal city. Its magnificent design is considered one of the United States’ architectural wonders.
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The Washington National Cathedral, completed in 1990, was the longest-running construction project in Washington, D.C. The cathedral took 83 years to construct but has been in use since 1912 as the site of many religious services and memorial services of national significance. The cathedral welcomes people of all faiths and is thereby a reflection of the religious freedom available to all in the U.S.
Just the architecture alone would be a reason to visit the Washington National Cathedral; its intricate stone structures and radiant stained glass windows are an amazing sight. Visitors may also be attracted by the chance to attend various religious services and prayer meetings at the cathedral, including the Holy Eucharist, held daily. Tours are available, as well as refreshments, which are served in the Old Baptistery building, now known as the “Open City Cafe”.
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- The last Sunday sermon Martin Luther King Jr. preached, he preached from the Canterbury pulpit (the pulpit in the Washington National Cathedral) in 1968.
- The idea for a national cathedral was first dreamed up by Major Pierre L’Enfant, who was commissioned in 1791 by George Washington to create a visionary plan for the nation’s capital.
- The Washington National Cathedral’s foundation stone came from a field near Bethlehem. This stone was set into a larger piece of American granite.
- One of the cathedral’s windows–called the Space Window–contains a piece of lunar rock.
- The cathedral’s west tower is actually topped with a sculpture of Darth Vader.