July 20th, 2012 – National Zoo & National Cathedral – Washington, DC

A trip to Washington DC would not be complete for Leslie without seeing the Pandas, so we went to the National Zoo.  It is one of the oldest zoos in the U.S., and as part of the Smithsonian Institution, does not charge admission (yay!!).  It was founded in 1889 and it does an excellent job with the habitats.  They had a new exhibit with cheetahs so that was neat to see.



We were going to take the train to our next stop, but the trusty dusty iPhone told us it was only a 1.3 mile walk so we decided to hoof it.  They need to fix that app so that it tells you when the 1.3 miles is straight uphill.  Anyway…. we went to the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, popularly known as the Washington National Cathedral.   It is a cathedral of the Episcopal Church, of neogothic design, and is the sixth-largest cathedral in the world, and the second-largest in the United States.

Congress has designated the Washington National Cathedral as the “National House of Prayer”.  During World War II, monthly services were held there “on behalf of a united people in a time of emergency”.  Funerals for three American Presidents have been held at the cathedral:  Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford.

You can see from the pictures that there is scaffolding on the outside.  The cathedral was damaged during the 2011 Virginia earthquake. Finial stones on several pinnacles broke off, and several pinnacles twisted out of alignment or collapsed entirely; some gargoyles and other carvings were damaged, and a hole was punched through the metal-clad roof by falling masonry. Cracks have also appeared in the flying buttresses surrounding the apse.   The third picture shows some of the pieces that fell.

Inside it is beautiful with several chapels and amazing carvings and stained glass windows.  If you click on a picture, it will enlarge the picture and you can see some of the details.  The last picture shows some tapestries that are from the Middle Ages.







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