There are two kinds of capitals of the states. Some act as huge capital cities in all their manifestations – political, economic, cultural, sports and other aspects of human activity. They behave like a huge energy source. Here everything is in moving constantly full daylong. They never stop their motion, even at nighttime. Streets are full with crowd, traffic jams, and bustle. Everything rages, roars, changing. It is difficult to make out in the ever-swinging mass of humanity, who is a resident of the capital, and who is a visitor.
And the opposite is true in the metropolitan capitals. Peace, balance, quietness distinguish these cities. Here in appearance (most of the dress code) and style of behavior public can be distinguished as a local or visitors. In these capitals stranger can understand more about the country and its people. Washington is one of those cities.
Washington – the capital of the United States – was built for the sole purpose to represent the state, his greatness, his pride, his freedom, and his uniqueness. American nation did it with great success. The city is built with respect, gratitude and memory to the creators of the state, with pride in its history, with great love and solicitude for everything that has been created and established for generations. Respect for the visitors is the fact that in a relatively short history of the state (just over two hundred years old) the city-monument has been built! Granite and marble of all facilities in a great Washington downtown emphasizes the greatness and the firmness of the state foundation. The state that has been created for free people and signed a contract with their own people about mutual respect and care about each other. This document is not other than the U.S. Constitution, which both sides followed unquestioningly.
At this point, many will doubt the words of the author and lead samples, contrary to the idealistic approach to the American reality. Yes, unfortunately, the ideal state has not yet been built anywhere. But the author, having lived many years in a different reality, and having lived enough years in North America, has the ability to compare and evaluate the person’s position in the state and the state’s attitude toward him. Two different measurements!
But let’s back to the city of Washington.
The whole city center is a huge National Mall. In fact, Mall in America has always been associated with a large shopping center. But in this case there is nothing for selling. It is rather a great big open-air museum. And by the way, because nothing here offered for sale – admission to all museums on the territory of the Mall is free.
If you look at the central part of the plan, which is the heart of the U.S. capital, you can see that it is based on a Latin cross. It is difficult to guess whether this was planned from the beginning, or has arisen in the course of many years of architectural research. Today, it looks that way, and it is very symbolic, because at the center and at the ends of the cross are the most valuable historical objects. This is a monument of American nationhood, namely, the most prominent memorials to presidents and place, specifically related to the United States creation.
The heart and center of the cross and the city is situated at the foot of Washington Memorial. Who has not seen this simple and in no way attractive stele surrounded by a ring of waving American flags? As if nothing special, but when you stand on the hill next to it and see the surrounding open spaces, with all the historical places, you realize that this is the point from which American history is visible. From the base to the one third of Monument it is in tan color, and further up to the very top of the aluminum pyramid – white. It happened because it was originally built for budget money that was not enough. It took time to think how to continue building, and the fundraising was opened. It was replenished by donations, and the obelisk was completed. But the stone supplier was another, and it is engraved in the monument forever. Nothing in that obelisk is reminiscent of George Washington. It is just a smooth blowing up column to some unknown heights. Perhaps it is his descendant mandate – to reach the heights in everything.
At the top of the cross there is the Memorial of Abraham Lincoln. It is classical building in the form of the Doric temple, surrounded by columns on the perimeter of the number of states belonging to the United States at the time of construction of the memorial. The pediment above each column is carved the name of the state. In front of the memorial sits proudly in a massive presidential chair Abraham Lincoln himself. The statue depicted a rather stern and resolute man with a heavy look. It seems hard to create the state and make serious decisions. But as it turned out, this put him in some of the most prominent American presidents, for which he is retained in memory of the grateful descendants. The inscription on the wall behind the seated figure of Lincoln, says:
“In this temple, as in the hearts of the people, for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.”
In the west wing of the cross President Thomas Jefferson’s Memorial is situated. The construction was built in the form of a circular pavilion. The massive columns support the dome. The statue of a pensive Thomas Jefferson is inside. As the principal author of the Declaration of Independence he had probably something to think about. Memorial stands on the banks of the Potomac River and this gives it a lightness and airiness.
In the east wing of the cross is the White House – the abode of the presidents. Perhaps it is the most inconspicuous of all structures in the cross. This building is frugal comfortable accommodation for important person of state. On the status of statesman White House is arranged and filled with all the necessary dignity, but without the bombast and indecency.
Finally, the base of the cross is reliance Capitol. And this is really a powerful base. The British tried to destroy it during the war for independence, and set fire to it. But Capitol survived and was reborn in a new form and quality. Today it is visible from afar on Capitol Hill and gives the whole ensemble of greatness. Abraham Lincoln’s view of his memorial went off over the reflecting pool to the monument of George Washington, and from there up to the Capitol, which holds hope and support of the American people.
Washington – Photo Gallery