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  • I welcome you to the mighty Washington Monument. The obelisk stands tall in an otherwise flat

  • surrounding and dominates the landscape with its 169 meters, which makes it the highest

  • structure in Washington D.C. Not only that, but it is also the world's tallest stone structure

  • and one of the world's tallest obelisks. The obelisk is surrounded by 56 US flags, one

  • for each state and one for each of territories of the USA. Together with the nearby Lincoln

  • Memorial and the World War II memorial, the obelisk forms an area of not only beautiful

  • and grand architecture, but also a source of inspiration.

  • The obelisk is dedicated to and has gotten its name, just like the city you are in, from

  • George Washington. Washington was the US General during the war of independence and later the

  • first president of the United States of America.

  • George Washington was born in 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He embarked on a career

  • as a planter and became the owner of a fairly large estate. Through his half brother, Lawrence

  • Washington, he got involved in the military and served during the British-French war as

  • a militia officer. After the war had ended, he quickly went back

  • to the business life and his plantations. It was only after Britain forced more and

  • more laws and acts over the colonies that George Washington got into politics. But when

  • he did, he acquired a leading position right away as he was selected as a delegate to the

  • First Continental Congress. When the first fighting began in 1775, Washington, with his

  • military experience, his charisma and his reputation of being a strong patriot, was

  • elected commander-in-chief for the Continental Army. Later when the war was won, he became

  • the first United States president when he was unanimously elected in 1789.

  • The initial plan for a monument to honor George Washington was proposed in 1783 by Major Pierre

  • Charles L'Enfant. Progress towards a memorial finally began in year 1832, the 100th anniversary

  • of Washington's birth, when a competition for the design of a memorial was announced.

  • In 1835, the ones responsible for the competition described their expectations as following:

  • "It is proposed that the contemplated monument shall be like him in whose honor it is to

  • be constructed, unparalleled in the world, and commensurate with the gratitude, liberality,

  • and patriotism of the people by whom it is to be erected."

  • The winning entry was designed by Robert Mills and the end result is the 82.000 ton heavy

  • obelisk you can see today. The original entry did not only include the obelisk, but it was

  • also surrounded by a circular colonnade which top would feature Washington standing in a

  • chariot. The cornerstone for this obelisk was laid

  • on the 4th of July 1848. Construction did however stop due to lack of funds and because

  • of the Civil War in 1856. At this time, the monument was at a height of 45 meter. The

  • colonnade part of the memorial was at this time put aside, as the monument project had

  • enough funding problems already. If you take a look at the obelisk, you will be able to

  • see how tall the obelisk stood when the construction stopped, as there is a clear difference in

  • the color of the stone at that level. The work later resumed from 1876 and completed

  • in1884 when the small aluminum cap was placed on the top. The monument was dedicated on

  • February 21, 1885 and officially opened in 1888 at which point it was the tallest building

  • in the world. The obelisk is built with granite and sandstone,

  • covered by white marble walls. The monument is financed to a large degree by private donations,

  • and when financial donation wasn't possible, a popular alternative was instead to donate

  • stone. This is the reason why the interior walls contains several stones donated by individuals,

  • societies, cities, States, and nations from all over the world.

  • Inside the obelisk there is an elevator which takes visitors to its observation point in

  • the top. From there, visitors get a great view over the surrounding parks and Washington

  • City. The original elevator was a steam elevator and took 20 minutes from ground level to the

  • top. Luckily, today's elevator will take you to the top in 70 seconds instead of 20 minutes.

  • As early as 1888, an average of 55,000 people per month went to the top.

  • Today, the Washington Monument has around 1 million visitors each year and has become

  • one of the icons of the city.

I welcome you to the mighty Washington Monument. The obelisk stands tall in an otherwise flat


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    alex に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日