Majestically situated at the west end of Washington’s National Mall, the massive monument to America’s 16th president is one of the most revered sites in the nation’s capital, and built for the most revered president in U.S. history.
Built to resemble a Greek temple, the Beaux-Arts styled structure is surrounded by 36 giant columns representing each state that was in the union at the time of Lincoln’s presidency. Adding to the decorative exterior, thirty-six state seals are also inscribed in marble above the colonnade. Inside the memorial is the famous sculpture by Daniel Chester French of a seated Lincoln which is situated at the entrance of the hallowed chamber.
Dedicated in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial was only the second presidential monument to grace Washington D.C. It is said that Washington was the founder of the nation and Lincoln its preserver, and it is these two presidents who were the first to be honoured, and both in the most visible locations in the city.
Lincoln restored the union, freed the slaves and brought peace to the nation after a bloody civil war until his life was cut short by an assassin’s bullet. But while the memorial is a dedication to Lincoln himself it is also a symbol of freedom and equality for all races. It is from the steps leading to this memorial that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech in 1963 for race equality.
The Lincoln Memorial can be easily reached on foot along the National Mall. The nearest Metro station is along the mall at Smithsonian Station on the blue and orange lines.