The National Cathedral

Today, we toured the awesome Washington National Cathedral.  It was unbelievably huge!!!  The stain glass, gargoyles, carvings, mosaics and tapestries were amazing.

Washington National Cathedral is the sixth largest cathedral in the world and the second largest in the United States. Saint Johnís in New York City is the largest cathedral in the United States.

The picture doesn't do it justice but the cathedral is so grand and the light was shining through the windows and reflecting on the vaulted ceiling.  It was beautiful!  From the marble floor to the vaulted ceiling is 10 stories high.

These windows depict a historical scene from days of the Native Americans, along with an American flag.  Not sure how that relates to the scene but it sure was pretty.  There are 215 stained glass windows in the Cathedral.

This is the Space Window commemorating the Apollo 11 mission and holding a piece of moon rock brought back by its crew.

This is the High Altar located in the nave.  There are 110 carved figures.  The Bishop's chair is on the left.

some of the mosaics

This is President Woodrow Wilson's tomb.  He is the only president buried in the National Cathedral.

Also interned there, is Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan.  The Braille words on the plaque marking Keller's grave have been nearly rubbed raw by the many fingers that have read them over the years.

Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan, are among more than 150 people buried in the cathedral. The Braille words on the plaque marking Keller's grave have been rubbed raw by the many fingers that have read them over the years.

Also, see our friends' webpage on our outing.

We all loved the gargoyles on the outside of the cathedral.  There are 112 gargoyles and grotesques.  The reason for the gargoyles and grotesques is to serve as the building's guttering system.  Gargoyles carry excess water away through pipes running through their mouths.  grotesques deflect rainwater by bouncing it off the top of their heads, noses, or other projecting parts and away from the stone walls.

Yes, there really is a Darth Vader one!!!  Read about it here.

It's WAY up high and my camera could barley zoom in on it.  Here's a better picture.

 Darth Vader

Here's another cool looking grotesque.

 Here are some of our favorite gargoyles.


         American Rattlesnake               Sleek Dragon                         Ram-like                   The Ugliest Monster


                        Catty Aide                   Wide Eyed                      Curly Locks           Crooked Politician 


              Kiddo                         Horse Skeleton                      Balancing Act                                Bat


           Down Gazing Dragon                 Feline Dragon                            Frog                               Bellyache


                 Donkey                       Humanoid Dragon                            Minotaur                              Seal


Click here to see Ramsey Central's webpage on the gargoyles.

To see more of the great gargoyles, click here.


Emily really liked these carvings.

We actually went to the National Cathedral to see the Creches from around the world.  We found them on display in the crypt.

This one was from Kenya and was made from Coke cans.  This was my favorite one.

This one is from the Artic - notice the cute little igloo.

This one was made from seed pods - sadly, I forgot where it was from though.

This one was made of slate - I also can't remember where it is from.

We all got to vote on our favorite ones. Fun!