National Cathedral (Wash DC) ???'s

Old Apr 27th, 2006, 04:37 PM
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National Cathedral (Wash DC) ???'s

Question #1 - How much time would you recommend for visiting the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.? We will be there on May 26 so we would like to also visit the garden.

Question #2 - What interesting hidden treasures should we be looking for? Example: the moon rock and the space shuttle in the stained glass window, the Darth Vader gargoyle (which won't be accessible when we're there), the view from the tower, etc.. Can you help me add to my list?

Thanks! Peace, Robyn >-
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Old Apr 27th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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The list could be endless. One of my favorites is where Helen Keller is buried even though you can't really see it. And the children's chapel where everything is on a smaller scale. And all the stone carvings have some special meaning and figures. And on and on...

Take a guided tour and the docent will point out different things. Each tour may be different as they each have their own favorites! I think it takes about 45 minutes. The tower is on your own and can take as long as you want but read some of the information as well as looking at the views.

The garden is also as much time as you may want to spend.

Check out the web page:
for tour information and the latest on the mess as they build a parking garage.

Have a great visit. I learn something new every time!
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Old Apr 27th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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Scroll down to the lower left corner of this link for information about tours.

It may give you a hint about how long it would take. That's one place that I would really like to see.

We have someone that arranged flowers for the Altar conduct a class for our guild. You would not believe what they have to do to make a display large enough to fit into the space on that Altar.
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Thanks for your replies. I had already visited the National Cathedral website and printed out their gargoyle tours and brochure (which was small print, hard to read and had limited information). We will definately take one of the tours and we would like to attend one of the daily services. I think we will plan on spending the whole afternoon at the Cathedral and the Close.

When I did a search here on the Fodor's Forum, other travellers mentioned things not to miss, including the wonderful pieces of needlework and the National Roll of Honor. That inspired my Question #2.

Barb65 - I will be sure to look for Helen Keller's tomb. As a young child I was so inspired by Helen - I have fond memories of teaching myself the alphabet in sign language, which was in the back of her biography. And my husband (who suffers from Peter Pan complex) thought the Children's Chapel sounded really cool.

aileen679 When we look at the Alter we will be sure to ponder the task of arranging flowers for a space that size - particularly the size of the flowers and the quantity involved.

So here's my list so far:

1) The view from the tower (the highest spot in D.C.). Have tea in the tower, if you're there on Wednesday.

2) The Space Window in the Warren Bay, commemorating the mission of Apollo XI and holding a piece of moon rock brought back by its crew.

3) The Children's Chapel, built to the scale of a six-year-old child.

4) Helen Keller's tomb

5) The wonderful pieces of needlework, including the red needlepoint kneelers of St. John's Chapel.

6) The floor of the Abraham Lincoln Bay, which is inset with Lincoln-head pennies.

7) The National Roll of Honor, located in the War Memorial Chapel, which preserves the names of those who have served our country. You can complete a form to have your loved one added.

8) The North Transept Rose Window, which is the largest and oldest in the cathedral. And the West Rose Window.

9) The flower arrangements on the Alter

10) Sign the state book in the Visitor's Lounge.

11) The N.C. Wyeth painted alter panels of the Holy Spirit Chapel.

12) The Final Finial, on the West Facade, placed there in 1990

13) The Darth Vader Grotesque (currently not accessible due to construction, but I'm still adding to the list)

Does anyone have any additional suggestions to add to my list? Peace, Robyn >-
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 06:22 AM
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Also walk around the grounds.
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 06:40 AM
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The sarcophagus/casket of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th preisdent of the United States rests in a foyer on the right hand side (as you face the alter) of the main cathedral. Wilson remains the only president to be interred in the actual city of Washington D.C.

Anne Sullivan (Helen Keller's teacher) is also interred in the cathedral.
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 05:47 PM
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Robyn you have a wonderful list and already know so much about the Cathedral!

I would only have one comment. As you look at the high altar and any flowers that may be there, keep in mind the cross that is on the altar is 6 feet high - that puts it all in perspective! The guide may or may not point that out.
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