One of the Most Recognizable Washington DC Monuments

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by stvchin on October 4, 2009

The Memorial to our sixteenth President is one of the "must-see" attractions in Washington DC. The Abraham Lincoln Memorial is one of the iconic symbols of Washington DC, as well as appearing on the back of the five dollar bill. The Lincoln Memorial is located in the western corner of Washington DC at the edge of the Tidal Basin, adjacent to the Arlington Memorial Bridge. It’s very easy to spot, as it sits atop a slight elevation and is easily visible from far away.

The Lincoln Memorial is easily identified through it’s Greek-inspired construction. It’s a rectangular limestone and marble building surrounded by columns sitting atop an elevated base. The elevated base consists of several flights of stairs, probably 50-60 total steps. I did see a chair lift off to the side for handicap access. The seated statue of Abraham Lincoln is visible as you approach the front.

The front of the Lincoln Memorial faces the reflecting pool. Beyond the reflecting pool are the pillars of the National World War Two Memorial. And beyond that is the Washington Monument. While facing the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial is immediately to the right.

I made the climb up the stairs to the Lincoln Memorial. As I went higher and higher up the steps, I could see the names of each state in the Union engraved into the top of the Lincoln Memorial, just above the columns. As I entered the front of the Lincoln Memorial, there is a huge, almost 20 foot tall seated marble statue of Abraham Lincoln. Inscribed into the wall behind him are the words "IN THIS TEMPLE AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN IS ENSHRINED FOREVER." The statue of Lincoln is very majestic, not only due to it’s size, but also in his appearance, as he gazes past the front, out towards the reflecting pool. It’s also majestic in that it memorializes what Lincoln achieved as the President of the United States.

Off to the right of Lincoln’s statue is a room with a copy of the Gettysburg Address inscribed into the wall, along with a mural of a slave being set free. Off to the left of Lincoln’s statue is a room with a copy of Lincoln’s second inaugural address inscribed into the wall. The interior is lighted by sunlight shining through the stained-glass roof. Since we went in August, the stained-glass roof has the unintended consequence of making the Lincoln Monument feel like a greenhouse. There are restrooms off to the side rooms.

As we exited, we took in the awesome view and understood why so many people were resting at the top of the steps at the Lincoln Memorial. A few steps down, we noticed a plaque on the floor of the monument commemorating where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I have a Dream" speech.

The Abraham Lincoln Memorial is definitely one of the "must-see" attractions. It’s a place to learn about an important part of US history, a place to reflect, and a good place to sit down and rest, with a magnificent DC view.
Lincoln Memorial
West Potomac Park
Washington, DC, 20037
(202) 426-6895

© LP 2000-2009