On a warm and slightly humid day in June, my wife and I decided to visit the National Cathedral in Washington DC. We heard from various friends about the gothic architecture and the enormity of the building both inside and out. Tours can be taken which offer more in-depth views and provide the history of this magnificent creation. It was strange that even being from the area, we never thought about going to this structural marvel. Probably because it’s not close to the main DC attractions such as the Smithsonian, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, White House, and the Capitol.
We left around 11 and decided to use public transportation, which consisted of the metro and bus. According to Google Maps, the Red line to Dupont Circle would be the first stop. Then, we hopped on bus 42 for 15 minutes taking us to the Adams Morgan district. Finally, we got on bus 96 that took us to 36th street and Woodley Avenue where a 5-minute walk brought us to the entrance of the National Cathedral. The total journey took about an hour and next time we’ll probably drive to avoid all the connections.
As soon as we entered the premises of the National Cathedral, the building is there in all its glory. The architecture definitely has a European feel to it with the primary material as limestone. I read later that it took 83 years to build the National Cathedral through the vision of five architects. The style looks similar to Barcelona’s La Sagreda Famila, which has been undergoing construction since 1882. The grounds are well manicured with multiple places to sit and view the Cathedral from multiple angles.
The interior of the building is impressive as well with numerous stained glass windows and high ceilings. Pointed arches and flying buttresses are a staple of the architecture as well as statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. What we also enjoyed was the Bishop’s garden. This area is filled with flowers, spice plants, and even a large gazebo. The trail weaves nicely through the garden and fantastic pictures of the Cathedral can be taken here.
We were about to exit the same way we entered but noticed a trail behind one of the statues outside. After hesitating initially, we decided to take it. It was well worth it. The trail was wide and led us through the forest, which was all downhill making the trek even easier. After exiting, we walked almost 30 minutes back to Adams Morgan navigating through multimillion-dollar homes. Famished after all the exercise, we found a Mediterranean restaurant and ate just about everything on the menu. The Woodley Park/Adams Morgan metro was only a 10-minute walk from the restaurant so we took it and went back home. All in all, a nice adventure well worth it!