Washington is the capital of the United States of America. It is situated in the District of Columbia. Washington DC, the USA capital is like no other city of the USA. It’s the world’s largest one-industry city. And that industry is government. The White House, where the US President lives and works, the Capitol, the home of the US Congress, and the Supreme Court, are all in Washington.
Washington was named after the first US President George Washington. He selected the place for the capital and Pierre L’Enfant, a French engineer, designed the city.
Supreme Court Building
Washington was first settled in 1790 and since 1800 it has been the Federal capital.
Washington is one of the most beautiful and unusual cities in the USA. In the very center of it rises the huge dome of the Capitol – a big white dome standing on a circle of pillars. The 535 members of the Congress meet here to discuss the nation’s affairs. It’s easy to get lost in this huge building, full of paintings and statues.
Not far from the Capitol is the Library of Congress, the largest library in the States. It contains more than 13 million of books, more than 19 million manuscripts, including the personal papers of the US presidents.
The White House is the official residence of the US President. He works in the Oval Office.
You can hardly find a park, a square or an open area in Washington without a monument or a memorial. The most impressive and the best-known ones are the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
The Washington Monument
The Washington monument is one of the city’s impressive sights. The monument was erected to the memory of the first President of the USA. It is also called “The Pencil”. It is one of the tallest stone constructions in the world. It is 555 feet high. The monument was modelled after the obelisks of Ancient Egypt. It is faced with white marble.
The Washington monument is the tallest landmark in the city of Washington, D.C. You can ride up in the elevator to get a bird’s – eye view of the capital and walk down 898 stairs if you prefer.
The Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial stands on the banks of the Potomac river. It is built in the style of a classic Greek temple. 36 columns representing the states in the Union when Lincoln died in 1865, support the roof. Each column is 13 m high.
The inside of the building contains three chambers. The central chamber is 18 m high and features a marble statue of the seated Lincoln. The statue is 5.8 m high. An inscription etched above the statue reads: “In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever”.
Construction began in 1914 and the memorial was dedicated in 1922 on Lincoln’s birthday February 12. Lincoln’s only surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was the guest of honor at the dedication.
There are some important museums in Washington where you can see all kinds of things: famous paintings and sculptures, the dresses of Presidents’ wives, the original of the Declaration of Independence, the largest blue diamond in the world, etc.
There are five universities in Washington.
There are no skyscrapers in Washington, because they would hide the city’s many monuments from view. No building in the city may be more than 40 meters high.
Thousands of tourists visit Washington every day. People from all parts of the United States come to see the capital.