Above It All – Washington National Cathedral

Trip Highlights

  • Visit the second largest cathedral in the US and the 6th largest in the world

  • See where presidential state funeral are held

  • See a piece of the Moon

  • Visit the tomb of the only president buried in Washington

Description

Washington National Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece. Perched on a hill overlooking the city it is the second largest cathedral in the country and the 6th largest in the world. It is a living work of art filled with stained-glass, hand-carved wood, and wrought iron. While a modern structure (finished in 1990) it is constructed in the old-world way and has no structural steel.

Tour info

Duration
2 hours
Group Size
2 to 8
Price starts at
55 USD
Languages
English
Meeting Point

The main door of the Washington National Cathedral

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Why take this tour?

While massive, Washington National Cathedral can be a hidden to many visitors to Washington. Which is unfortunate because it is truly mind-boggling in its size and beauty. Huge stained-glass windows fill this space with colored light that changes as the sun moves across the sky. Come in late afternoon as organ practice fills the nave with sound perfect for the surroundings. This is a place where the nation gathers to celebrate inaugurations and mourn at state funerals. It is where Martin Luther King preached his last Sunday sermon from the Canterbury pulpit before his assassination. It’s a whimsical place with a Darth Vader gargoyle, a giant Lego replica that’s under construction, and hidden humorous pieces of stained glass, wrought iron, and carved stone. But you’ll only see them if someone helps you find them!

 

Tour Highlights

 

  • See the site of presidential state funerals
  • Visit the tomb of the only president buried in Washington
  • See a moon rock given to the cathedral by the crew of Apollo 11
  • Take the elevator up the South Tower to get a spectacular view of the city
  • Try to find the Darth Vader gargoyle on the North “dark side” of the cathedral
  • Take in the Rose window with its 10,000 pieces of glass
  • Stroll through the Bishop’s Garden

Included

  • Admission

  • Guided walking tour with a local cathedral certified guide

  • Photography

Excluded

  • Tip

  • Water

Things to know

About your guide

David Shaw first came to the cathedral as a child and never forgot it. He was there when President George H. W. Bush attended its dedication in 1990. The cathedral is one of his favorite places to show to visitors and locals alike.

He's a certified master guide of the Guild of Professiona...

David Shaw first came to the cathedral as a child and never forgot it. He was there when President George H. W. Bush attended its dedication in 1990. The cathedral is one of his favorite places to show to visitors and locals alike.

He's a certified master guide of the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC. David's also a certified guide at Washington National Cathedral and hold a District tour guide license.

What to bring

Comfortable shoes, camera, water bottle, questions, and a sense of humor!

Comfortable shoes, camera, water bottle, questions, and a sense of humor!

Availability

The cathedral is a working church and touring hours vary day-to-day based on activities. Please contact me directly to plan your visit.

The cathedral is a working church and touring hours vary day-to-day based on activities. Please contact me directly to plan your visit.

Book this trip now