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“Massive building, very beautiful.”

Washington National Cathedral
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Washington National Cathedral Admission Ticket
Ranked #18 of 439 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This Gothic-style cathedral is the sixth largest in the world and is put to all sorts of national purposes, such as President Wilsons funeral and a prayer vigil for American hostages during the Iranian crisis.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access
Reviewed June 27, 2013

I have never seen anything that took 83 years to build but this place is hard to describe. The size alone is staggering and very impressive. All the stained glass is beautiful and the stories behind the few we heard about were very cool. Woodrow Wilson & Helen Keller are interred here. The organ has over 10,000 pipes!
My only complaint, and I don't know if this was because of our field trip or not, was that our tour was very short. I also don't know if you are allowed to walk around the areas on your own. If so I would love to go back and spend some time here to really take in all it has to offer.
Also the gift shop only had one employee working there, which is a bad idea with a few bus loads of kids. They do have water & fudge which were both a hit.

Date of experience: May 2013
Thank Michigan_Family3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charles F, Special Programs Manager at Washington National Cathedral, responded to this reviewResponded July 1, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share some thoughts about your visit to the Cathedral. Regarding the length of your tour, our standard highlights tour usually lasts about 30 minutes. Since you were traveling as part of a group field trip, your motor coach had a limited parking time so that other groups who want to visit would have a chance as well (groups of 13+ people have to have a reservation to visit the Cathedral at all times).

If you're able to come back on your own or with your family, you are certainly welcomed to walk around as long as you'd like! There's a lot to explore at the Cathedral ... we've even recently opened our west balcony to visitors, which provides a great view inside the building. We also offer various special tours that last longer than the standard highlights tour.

Thanks also for your feedback about the gift shop. I will be sure to pass that along to the store manager. Please come back to see us again the next time you're in town!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"stained glass"
in 236 reviews
"darth vader"
in 67 reviews
"earthquake damage"
in 68 reviews
"helen keller"
in 66 reviews
"gothic architecture"
in 55 reviews
"space window"
in 49 reviews
"woodrow wilson"
in 49 reviews
"sunday service"
in 29 reviews
"flying buttresses"
in 28 reviews
"highest point"
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"behind the scenes"
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"self guided tour"
in 64 reviews
"gift shop"
in 96 reviews
"entrance fee"
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in 33 reviews
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1,862 - 1,866 of 2,899 reviews

Reviewed June 24, 2013

The Cathedral is beautiful with gorgeous a fascinating history, interesting display of damage caused by recent earthquake (There is some scaffolding and netting while it's being repaired), and great views from the top. Do take the tour - our guide was knowledgable and had lots of fun facts to share. It's off the beaten track thus tricky to access via public transportation but a #32 bus will get you there from the Tenleytown Metro stop. Well worth the effort.

Date of experience: June 2013
1  Thank DulciTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2013

The National Cathedral is similar to what you can often see in Europe but perhaps more tall and imposing. It differs mainly in the interior, sparsely decorated as befits Protestants, which certainly makes it less attractive.

Date of experience: June 2013
1  Thank Papapeyi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

Out of everything I have experienced in D.C. this is definitely one of my favorite places to visit. If you like the monuments and memorials be sure to include this on your sight-seeing list. It is emotionally moving, loaded with unique history, and is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. (Both Helen Keller and Woodrow Wilson are buried there!) The audio tours are fine, but I much prefer the tours offered by volunteers and nuns. They are informative, briskly paced, and offer the opportunity for question/answer sessions for inquisitive people like me! FYI: If you are visiting there during the summer months go during the mid-day period. It is cool, calming, and the stained-glass windows are even more brilliant in the brightest sunlight.

Date of experience: June 2013
2  Thank EveningConstitution
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 20, 2013

This was a great old building. It is a place to go for many reasons. I personally love churches but you could go for a religious retreat, for meditation, or just to take in the breathtaking structure.

Date of experience: March 2013
1  Thank gwenbraum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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