Here we are. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C, one of the most famous addresses in the world. We are standing in front of the White House, more precisely on the big, iron fence, which one otherwise only knows from reports on television, if there is anything political to say – or there is a crisis. For about 200 years, it embodies power and the home of modern democracy. Most US Presidents held office in this building, which has undergone some renovations and was once burned down. Until a few years ago, you could have visited this building from the inside. Not everything, but enough to get an impression of this building.
The US capital Washington, D.C., with its approximately 650,000 inhabitants, is the center of world politics. “D.C.”, as the Americans usually call it, is not a typical American city. Unique representative buildings, such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol or the White House, extensive green spaces, wide avenues and a high concentration of museums, present the visitor with a tourist riddle: how long should I stay and what should I look at?
Incidentally, skyscrapers are sought in vain in DC. Buildings with more than 13 floors are prohibited. DC is not a federal state of the United States and is not inside in one. The District of Columbia is the city of Washington and vice versa. 1791 Pierre L’Enfant was commissioned with the city planning. He designed a city for 100,000 inhabitants, although around 1800 only 3000 people lived. Impressively farsighted
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Between the Capitol in the east and the Lincoln Monument in the west stretches the National Mall – a meadow about 2km wide. Along this green space are most of the museums and monuments. These include the Smithsonian Institution Building, the National Museum of African Art, the National Museum of American History, the National Archives and the National Air and Space Museum just to name a few.
Although George Washington laid the foundation stone for the presidency in 1792, he himself never resided here. The 2nd president, John Adams, moved into the White House. In August 1814, the British occupied Washington and burned down the White House. Only the sandstone walls survived the fire. Reconstruction began in 1815 and the exterior walls were painted white – Voila – the White House
Until 2011 The White House with its 132 rooms and halls could be visited. In the upper floor there are the private rooms of the presidential family.
The United States Capitol is the seat of the US Congress and rises with its 82 meters above the Capitol Hill. At 229 meters long and 107 meters wide, it is an imposing structure. Above all, the dome, which was modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and crowned by a six-meter-high Statue of Liberty, is impressive.
The Lincoln Memorial just to the west of the National Mall is like a huge Athens temple. The 58 steps up to the marble building symbolize Lincoln’s age. The 36-foot-high pillars stand for the 36 states that made up the United States at the time of Lincoln. Since there were 48 states when the memorial was completed in 1922, it was decided to tear down the structure and start over. It was just a joke :-). The names of the 48 states were engraved on the stairs. When two more were added (Alaska and Hawaii), an extra plate was placed at the bottom of the stairs.
Inside the temple is the so called 6-meter-high sitting image of Abraham Lincoln by Daniel Chester French, which so many of us know from countless films. On the walls to the left and right of Lincoln are two inscriptions. On the right side excerpts of his inaugural address 1865 and on the left the famous Gettysburg Address of 1864.
Beyond the Potomac River, not in DC, but already in Virginia, is the Arlington Cemetery. First graves originated from 1863 during the civil war. After this one counted already 16,000 graves and today approximately 250,000 graves on approximately 250 hectares. First and foremost, these are soldiers and their families. A major attraction in the cemetery is the simple grave of John F. Kennedy.
Georgetown is part of Washington, but older and different. It was built in 1789 as a university seat and harbor on the Potomac River. Renowned Georgetown University and its students are the hallmarks of life in Georgetown. Hip restaurants, cafes and bars, many brick buildings and parks on the Potomac invite you to linger, relax and enjoy.
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Hi, my name is Jürgen. Most know me as Jay. I know, this can be confusing. My new name was caused by hundreds of Starbucks cups, all labeled with different names. I have never encountered life as powerfully as it has in recent years and I should not be surprised that I have left behind the realm of quick and impersonal business and conforming to society’s expectations. I swapped my jacket for hiking clothes and shorts, the aftershave for bug spray, and my car for a camper.