We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Very interesting tour of this Masonic Temple”

House of the Temple
Ranked #140 of 430 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Very interesting tour of this Masonic Temple”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2012

After reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, we decided to stop in for a visit of the House of the Temple. We were pleasantly greeted by the security guard who let us in and we were given an hour long tour of the building and its chambers. The Temple Chamber with its black marble altar was especially impressive. Well worth the detour.

Visited July 2012
Thank monsieur_r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
153 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Fans of Dan Brown's Lost Symbol -- don't miss the Scottish Rite Temple!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2012

If you have read Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, you probably remember that many of the scenes took place here, and that masonic symbols are used throughout the book.

The building on 16th street -- a bit away from the mall but still very accessible, look for free street parking! -- is quite impressive and was designed by John Russell Pope who also designed the National Gallery of Art and Jefferson Memorial. It opened in 1915.

Symbolism is evident throughout the building from the 33 light bulbs in the lobby chandeliers to paintings explaining the aptitudes of each of the 33 degrees . Lots of brass, woodwork, paintings, stained glass, etc. revel in Masonic symbolism. It is a beautifully designed space, and I did learn some interesting facts about the Masons. Particularly enlightening was the exhibit highlighted many of the better known Masons and the fact that any religion is acceptable, as long as the adherents believe in a divine being.

Their website recommends that you take an early morning tour on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday (weekends are reserved for Masons themselves apparently). We had a very nice young woman as our guide. She initially talked very fast from a memorized script, but when we took our time and asked questions she relaxed some and was able to answer most of our questions. She said the tours do get crowded in the summer.

You get to see a lot of the building, including various meeting rooms and the magnificent library, which is open to the public and is devoted to Masonic history. Everything is discussed openly -- in fact this attitude of apparent transparency made some in our group wonder what they were hiding with their appearance of no secrets!

There is a small bookstore but apart from postcards would probably appeal only to Masons in the group.

Visited March 2012
2 Thank Alexandrian1026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
155 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A Must if you are a Freemason”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2012

It is one of the best ways to learn some history about the Scottish Rite.
If you are a Freemason you will love it. If you are not, you will learn a lot about Freemasonry.
Their Temples, their library and their antiques are very impresive.

Visited June 2011
2 Thank JMareyna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
54 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“amazing.... must be seen to be appreciated!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2012

I am not a Mason, so I only know a bit about the history, my guy is a Mason and he wanted to visit this building. The interiors and the details that the guides point as as you go are so impressive. The statues outside have different eyes, and she explained the symbolism of them to me. The repetative themes and symbolism continue throughout the rooms. We ended the tour in the library, and even with my limited knowledge of Masonic history, I was fascinated and could have spent hours there. I would definitely recommend this tour to others, and if your a Mason, esp the Scottish rite Masons, it shouldn't be missed!
(Tours are free to Masons and their guests)

Visited February 2012
2 Thank wearytrvlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Carolina
Level Contributor
102 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Interesting tour of the Masonic Temple”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2011

Schedule a visit if you are a fan of Dan Brown's book "The Lost Symbol". Very enlightening tour and interesting facts concerning the Masons. Call ahead to make sure tour guides are available.

Visited October 2011
Thank SeashellSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed House of the Temple also viewed

Washington DC, DC
Washington DC, DC

Been to House of the Temple? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing