What Are Some Interesting Facts About the Washington National Cathedral?


Quick Answer

The Washington National Cathedral, which is the brainchild of George Washington, is the sixth largest cathedral in the world. The top of the cathedral's tower is the highest point in the District of Columbia. Most of the decorative materials in the cathedral are either memorials dedicated to famous events or persons, or items that bear Christian symbols.

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Full Answer

Plans for the construction of the Washington National Cathedral began in 1792 when the government gazetted Washington's plans for the construction of the city of Washington in the District of Columbia. The plans included an inter-denominational cathedral intended for national purposes. The construction of the cathedral commenced in 1907 and lasted until 1990. The cathedral has been the venue of noteworthy events, including the funeral services of former presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Woodrow Wilson. The cathedral is also the burial ground for Helen Keller and Woodrow Wilson.

The main material used in the construction of the cathedral is gray Indiana limestone. The architecture of the Gothic-style cathedral features a one-story porch, a long rectangular mass, artistic metal work and a long flight of steps. The cathedral houses numerous works of art, including mosaics, wood carvings, leaded glass and more than 200 stained glass windows. The cathedral grounds cover 57 acres in Northwest Washington.

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