The Washigton Monument
Landmarks of the USA
Number One Attraction
If you are planning a trip to the capital of the USA, put the Washington Monument on your Washington DC Must See list.
It is said that if you haven't seen the Washington Monument, you haven't seen DC at all.
What Is So Special About The Washington Monument?
A real piece of history.
A visit to Washington DC is a journey through American history.
The Washington Monument was constructed to honor George Washington, who led the country to independence and then became its first President. George Washington was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States .
The Monument has undergone several periods of build and rebuild to become what you see today, and the history of the Washington Monument in many ways reflects that of the country.
The Monument was opened to the public in 1888, and has come to be a symbol of Washington DC as well as the nation.
The Best Starting Point for Tour Around Washington D.C.
The Washington Monument at 555 feet ( 169.2 meters) towers over everything in DC.
When it was built in 1884, the Washington Monument was the world’s tallest man-made structure.
Although it is no longer the tallest man-made structure in the world, it remains the tallest man-made structure in Washington and is visible throughout much of the city, and even into parts of Virginia and Maryland.
Visitors can take the express elevator to the 500-foot observation deck and enjoy breathtaking views of the city from the top of the Washington Monument, including unique perspectives of the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and the Capitol Building.
The views are so amazing that it's like having a bird's-eye view of the city, and it will help orient you when you start walking around the city.
Look closely and you’ll notice the slight change in color of the marble, the result of the 22-year interruption due to the Civil War.
Key Facts About the Monument
The Washington Monument
- was designed by Robert Mills.
- is shaped like an Egyptian obelisk
- is a four-sided stone structure with a nine-inch tall aluminum pyramid at the top of the monument (when the monument was built, aluminum was newly-discovered, scarce, and very expensive).
- contains 36,491 blocks
was officially opened for public on October 9, 1888.
- is called the "Pencil" because of its shape.
- is surrounded by fifty flags symbolizing the 50 states.
- is the tallest building in the District of Columbia - by law, no other building in D.C. is allowed to be taller.
What You Need to Know Before You Go
- Admission to the monument is free, but tickets are required
- A visit to the Washington Monument begins by getting a ticket.
- Once people have their tickets, they stand in a line near the monument.
- National Park Service guides supervise the Washington Monument. They lead visitors to a big elevator for the ride up to the observation area at the top.
- At the top, there are two floors:
- The first is the 500' level observation deck, where you can look out the windows. They're small, but the views are spectacular
- The second is the 490' level museum (reached by stairway), which contains a few exhibits on how the monument was built.
- Inside the Washington Monument are an elevator and a 897-step stairway.
- Stairs connect the observation deck with the ground floor, but they are closed to the public.