Sights & Activities

Classic Homage to Old Abe at the Iconic Lincoln Memorial

September 22, 2013

Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC

Photo Credit: blueprnt12 on Flickr Creative Commons

WASHINGTON, DC, USA – Few things are more iconic of what our nation represents than the Lincoln Memorial. This marble homage to the Civil War-presiding 16th president symbolizes more than just the top-hat-wearing man though; it’s a symbol of national unity as well. The memorial blends together the work of numerous artists (including architect Henry Bacon and sculptor Daniel Chester French among others) and various building materials, creating a unified facade of pure perfection.

Its exterior—boasting architectural attributes like Doric columns and an attic frieze—is equal parts Colorado Yule marble, Tennessee pink marble, and Massachusetts granite. Its interior, on the other hand, is made of white Georgia marble, Indiana limestone, Alabama marble, and copper alloy. This incredible assortment of materials acts as a classic tribute to Lincoln and the nation he brought together during the Civil War (pretty neat, if you ask us!).

We can’t help but indulge in the eye-catching views that accompany a visit to these marble steps; after all, its location on the end of the National Mall provides ample picture opportunities as far as the eye can see. Plus, the Lincoln Memorial’s prominent position along the Potomac ensures plenty of scenic vistas, too, whether visiting by day or night (the lights in the evening are especially picturesque).

Of course, a visit to this Purple Pick ensures an accompanying history lesson. Two of the president’s most famous speeches—the Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address—are engraved on each side of the imposing structure as well as an epitaph for Lincoln. But for a true day in civil rights history, take a walk down the steps toward the Reflecting Pool. There, you’ll find the spot where Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; it was etched into the steps permanently during the 40th anniversary.

Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC

Photo Credit: Scott Ableman on Flickr Creative Commons

Afterward, patrons can check out the small museum below the Lincoln Memorial, teeming with exhibits on the president’s life and presidency, the memorial’s construction, and more. Plus, its convenient location on the Mall makes it perfect for a day of sightseeing, too. Visitors can roam about the grassy expanse at will, stopping to view other iconic landmarks like the Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Jefferson, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorials along the way. Needless to say, no visit to DC is complete without a visit to this awe-inspiring tribute to Honest Abe himself—just don’t forget to sit down for a minute and take it all in.

Read more about the Lincoln Memorial in our Washington, DC guide.

Lincoln Memorial
West end of the National Mall
Washington, DC
(1) 202-426-6841

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