Sending you warm wishes for Easter from the
Washington National CathedralBeing only two hours southwest of Washington, D.C., our farm is an easy drive to impressive and beautiful sites in D.C. In light of the fact that this is Holy Week, I will take you to the Washington National Cathedral.
The Cathedral is dedicated to serving people of all faiths and is a spiritual sanctuary for the whole nation. It has been the site of important national and international celebrations, dedications, and funerals. For example, a service was dedicated in 1898 to the Peace Cross to mark the end of the Spanish-American War; a memorial service for King George VI was held in 1952; the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., preached his last sermon in 1968; a service was held in 1979 to pray for the Iranian hostages and then in 1981 to celebrate their release; in 1995, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu of Capetown celebrated the birth of democracy in South Africa; in 2001, President George W. Bush and evangelist Billy Graham lead an interfaith service following the 9/11 terrorist attacks; in 2003, a memorial service for the members of the Space Shuttle Columbia was held; and His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama spoke in 2003. The Cathedral has also been the location for funeral and memorial services for nearly all of the U.S. presidents since 1893.
The Cathedral, a majestic and richly decorated Gothic style church, was completed in 1990 after two centuries of construction. It soars over Washington, D.C, on a meticulously landscaped 59-acre plot of land in Northwest Washington.
In addition to these wonderful buildings (which are but a small fraction of all the buildings on the Cathedral Close), you will find beautiful works of art inside the Cathedral. I would do injustice to the beauty inside the Cathedral if I attempted to share a few photos with you here. Please make a special trip to the Cathedral if you come to visit Washington, D.C. So, instead of taking you inside the Cathedral, I will take you to my favorite spot outside the Cathedral: the Bishop Garden.
The Bishop's Garden
The Cathedral is beautifully landscaped. The Cathedral grounds are cared for by a dedicated group of volunteers. My favorite area is the Bishop's Garden. The photos below were taken in June 2015. These photos cannot capture how peaceful and quiet the garden is. When I was there, although there were quite a number of people there visiting, the garden was very quiet. Somehow, everyone took it upon themselves to talk quietly; even children did not run around or climb the stone walls.
Bishop's Garden - main entrance
Bishop's Garden - one side entrance
A visitor relaxing in the sun
My favorite spot to linger is right outside the Bishop's Garden. The photos below were taken in April 2015.
|The Prodigal Son Statute|
This very old weeping cherry is breath-taking.
Although the Cathedral is a Christian church, being the nation's Cathedral, all are welcome. The Cathedral is a wonderful place to reflect. If you have a chance to visit Washington, D.C., make sure you save some time to visit the Cathedral. The photos I have posted are a minute fraction of the magnificent beauty found in this Cathedral as well as the surrounding buildings and gardens. I hope you will have a chance to visit it one day.
- There is a sculpture of Darth Vader on the Cathedral. (This link https://cathedral.org/what-to-see/exterior/vader/ will take you there.)
- The Cathedral's central tower is the only place in North America to house both peal and carillon bells.
- The Cathedral labyrinth is a medieval design based on the one in the floor of the nave at Chartres Cathedral in France.
- The Cathedral is home to one of the few old growth forests still standing in the nation's capital, Olmsted Woods, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.
- The Cathedral was completed 83 years to the day after it was begun (September 29, 1907-September 29, 1990).
- The first tract of land for the Cathedral site (30 acres) was purchased in 1898 for $245,000. Two other parcels of land were purchased later, bringing the total cost to $291,427 and the total area to 57 acres.
- The Cathedral is the sixth largest cathedral in the world and the second largest in the United States.
- $65 million: how much it cost to build the Cathedral.
- $0: the amount the Cathedral receives from the federal government or national Episcopal Church.
- 150,000 tons: the total weight of the Cathedral.
- 300 pounds: the weight of an average piece of stone at the Cathedral.
- 5.5 tons: the weight of the Moses boss stone above the west balcony, the heaviest in the Cathedral.
- 762: the number of boss stones in the Cathedral, which function as structural key stones.
- 288: the number of angels atop the two west towers.
- 26 feet: the diameter of the Cathedral's largest stained glass window, the north rose.
- 676 feet: the height of the central tower above sea level, making its top the highest point in the District of Columbia.
- 24,000 pounds: the weight of the largest of the 53 carillon bells, measuring eight feet, eight inches in diameter.
- 112: the number of gargoyles on the Cathedral.
- 215: the number of stained glass windows in the Cathedral.
- 10,500+: the number of pieces of glass it took to construct the west rose window.
- 234 feet: the height of the two west towers.
- 301 feet: the height of the central Gloria in Excelis Deo tower.
- 1,500+: the number of needlepoint pieces in the Cathedral.
- 10,650: the number of pipes in the Great Organ.
- 220+: the number of people interred in the Cathedral, including President Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller.
- 418,000: the number of visitors and worshippers come to the Cathedral each year.