Why Visit the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC

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Washington DC’s Jefferson Memorial pays tribute to the third American President, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, and the author of the Declaration of Independence. The round-shaped memorial with a dome features a freestanding statue of Thomas Jefferson with inscriptions from the Declaration of Independence and other works of the president.

From the topmost steps of Jefferson Memorial, you can get sweeping views of the White House across the Tidal Basin reservoir adjacent to the memorial. It is the same place, about which American Poet, Linda Pastan, once wrote, “We invent our gods the way the Greeks did.” She was referring to the rotunda’s style resemblance to the Panthéon temple in ancient Greece.

Jefferson Memorial’s History

Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826. However, it took over 100 years in order to commission the creation of the neoclassical style memorial as designed by John Russell Pope. The American architect also designed National Gallery of Art’s actual building and the National Archives Building. On November 15, 1939, the foundation of the Jefferson Memorial was laid by the then America President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a grant ceremony.

April 13, 1943, marks the day when Roosevelt himself devoted the Jefferson Memorial on the bicentenary of Thomas Jefferson’s date of birth. However, his statue sculpted by American sculptor Rudolph Evans was added to the memorial in 1947.

Visiting Tips

Thomas Jefferson was an important figure in the history of America, and so, the memorial in Washington DC is one of the oft-visited tourist attractions. When in the city capital, onboard a circulator bus to catch most of the monuments in and around the National Mall including this classical Roman rotunda.

The 19-foot high bronze statue inside the Jefferson Memorial faces the direction of the White House. It was placed that way in order to represent Thomas Jefferson’s stature as a statesman and a philosopher, symbolizing the Age of Enlightenment.

Parking is very much limited nearby the National Mall in the city capital. Henceforth, the best possible way to access the Jefferson Memorial nearby the Tidal Basin is through Washington DC bus tours or on foot. The monument is open over the course of single day. Rangers guard the memorial during duty hours and offer interpretive programs to the visitors on each hour to let you discover its significance.

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