Washington National Cathedral


The National Cathedral, completed in 1990, is the culmination of a long-planned Gothic style cathedral in our Capitol.  The richly decorated cathedral is located in Northwest Washington.  It consists of a long narrow rectangular mass, an eight bay nave and a five bay chancel, intersected by a six bay transept.  Rising over 300 feet in the center is the Gloria in Excelsis Tower. The Cathedral is the sixth largest in the world, second largest in the United States. The top of the tower is the highest point in DC.  The building is loaded with architectural sculpture, wood carving, leaded glass, mosaics, artistic metal work, and many other works of art, including over 200 stained glass windows.

The Cathedral became a place for services of national focus. When the United States entered World War II in 1941, monthly services “On behalf of a united people in a time of emergency” began.  The Cathedral has been the location of many significant events, including the funeral services of Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. Its pulpit was the last one from which Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke prior to his assassination. The Cathedral is the burial place of many notable people, including Helen Keller, Admiral George Dewey, and President Woodrow Wilson.


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