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Washington DC, USA

Panoramic view of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Photo Creative Commons License side78.

Washington, D.C. is a city of of 580,000 people within 67 square miles. Founded in 1790 as the capital of the United States, Washington teems with history, both made and in the making. Along with its impressive government buildings and national historic sites, Washington is known for its unsurpassed museums, cosmopolitan culture and magnificent parks. The religious sites of Washington, D.C. reflect the role of the capital city. Many are national in their use and function, such as the Washington National Cathedral, which hosts presidential funerals and other state ceremonies. They also reflect the cultural and religious diversity of America: a large Catholic shrine and a grand mosque are among the most notable of many examples.

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Sacred Sites and Religious Attractions in Washington DC

  • Basilica of the National Shrine
    This grand church dedicated to the Immaculate Conception is an important Catholic shrine consecrated in 1959. Its architecture is a mix of Romanesque and Byzantine.
  • Islamic Center of Washington
    When it opened in 1957, the Islamic Center of Washington was the largest Muslim place of worship in the Western Hemisphere. It is run by a board of ambassadors to Islamic countries.
  • St. John's Church
    Dubbed the "Presidents' Church," this historic Episcopal church is located next to the White House. Since 1816 every president has attended a service here, including Obama on Inauguration Day.
  • National Cathedral
    This Neo-Gothic Episcopal cathedral is the sixth largest cathedral in the world. Completed in 1990 after 83 years of construction, it hosts important national ceremonies such as presidential funerals.