The Cathedral will be closed Friday, Jan. 20 and until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, for the Inaugural Prayer Service.

Exterior Features

Rose Window

The “Creation” Rose window contains more than 10,000 pieces of glass and celebrates when God declared, “Let there be light.”

View More

Ex Nihilo

“Ex Nihilo” by sculptor Frederick Hart captures the dawn of humankind and focuses visitors on the Cathedral’s creation story.

View More

St Peter

St. Peter is often depicted as the most “human” of Jesus’ followers -- stubborn, rash and yet the pillar of the Church.

View More

St Paul

St. Paul persecuted the early church, but found himself a new creation in Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus.

View More

Yuppie Gargoyle

The Yuppie gargoyle was given in honor of a prominent New York corporate executive, who was delighted with the finished product.

View More

State Symbol Gargoyle

State symbols abound at Washington National Cathedral, including the Missouri bear and the St. Louis Arch.

View More

Space Window

The “Scientists and Technicians Window” commemorates America’s exploration of space and man’s first steps on the moon.

View More

War Memorial Chapel

A tribute to members of the Armed Services, War Memorial Chapel tells stories of sacrifice and the struggle for freedom.

View More

Wilson Bay

Woodrow Wilson is the only U.S. President buried in the District of Columbia.

View More

Jackson-Lee

The memorial to two Confederate generals has become the subject of recent controversy.

View More

Church Triumphant

The south rose window, the Church Triumphant, contains imagery from Revelation and St. John’s vision of the throne of God.

View More

St. John’s Chapel

The chapel’s red needlepoint kneelers recognize noted Americans with symbols of their contributions to our national life.

View More

Central Tower

Each of the four grand pinnacles atop the central tower will need to be restored or recarved following the 2011 earthquake.

View More

Carillon

The Cathedral is the only church in North America that houses a 10-bell peal and a carillon in a single tower.

View More

Bishop Gargoyle

A cathedral is a cathedral because it is the bishop’s church. So it’s only natural that one of the gargoyles features a bishop.

View More

"Evil Too" Gargoyle

This “Evil Too” gargoyle was carved after a student at Mt. Holyoke College won a nationwide contest.

View More

Last Judgment Rose Window

The largest and oldest of the three rose windows includes a life-sized figure of Christ sitting in judgment at its center.

View More

St. Mary’s Chapel

The stained glass windows in this chapel depict the parables of Jesus while the altar reredos reflects scenes from Mary’s life.

View More

Vader

The most popular site at the Cathedral? A stone carving of Darth Vader, installed in 1986 on the north “dark” side of the Cathedral.

View More

Central tower

Each of the four grand pinnacles atop the central tower will need to be restored or recarved following the 2011 earthquake

View More

Peal Bells

The Cathedral’s 10 peal bells don’t produce music that you could sing along with, but it’s a sound you’ll never forget.

View More

Flying Buttress

They look like mini bridges or arms surrounding the cathedral. But what purpose do they serve?

View More

Pinnacles

Sure, pinnacles are decorative and intricately carved, but they also serve a key purpose in Gothic architecture.

View More

“The Master Carver” Gargoyle

“The Master Carver” is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the Cathedral’s master carver, Roger Morigi.

View More

American Rattlesnake Gargoyle

The American Rattlesnake was meant to represent American wildlife and one of the country’s first flags in the fight for independence.

View More

Flying Buttress

They look like mini bridges or arms surrounding the cathedral. But what purpose do they serve?

View More

Saints Carving

The figures carved into the Cathedral’s eastern wall include its two patron saints and St. John, all looking for the Second Coming of Christ.

View More

Bethlehem Chapel

Bethlehem Chapel was the first portion of the Cathedral to be completed, in 1912. Services have been held daily ever since.

View More

Christ in Majesty Window

The Christ in Majesty window completes the Cathedral narrative that begins with creation and ends in the redemption of the world through Christ.

View More

Interior Features

Canterbury Pulpit

The Canterbury Pulpit is where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his last Sunday sermon before his assassination.

View More

Rood Screen

The rood screen marks the transition from the Crossing, at the center of the Cathedral, to the Great Choir and the High Altar.

View More

Children’s Chapel

Children’s Chapel was designed for a 6-year-old child and is a popular site for baptisms.

View More

Holy Spirit Chapel

This small but beloved chapel is a microcosm of the larger Cathedral, displaying liturgical arts of wood, iron, stained glass and needlework.

View More

High Altar

The High Altar is the culmination of the Cathedral’s creation narrative, pointing toward the redemption of the world through the triumphant Christ.

View More

George Washington Bay

The statue of America’s first president seeks to portray him as a man of faith making his way to church.

View More

Lincoln Bay

The nation’s 16th president is memorialized in the Lincoln Bay, which celebrates themes of reconciliation and reunion.

View More

Vaulted Ceiling

The vaulted ceiling provides support for the airy roof, but also spells out the theological underpinnings of the Christian faith.

View More

Great Choir

The Great Choir features seats reserved for high-ranking bishops and the chaplains of the U.S. House and Senate.

View More

Mother Teresa

The Catholic nun who cared for the poorest of the poor is recalled as a patron saint for human rights.

View More

Rosa Parks

The civil rights heroine ignited the movement to end racial segregation and pricked the conscience of a nation.

View More

Jonathan Daniels

Jonathan Daniels was a young Episcopal seminarian who gave his life for the cause of civil rights.

View More

Eleanor Roosevelt

The former First Lady is recognized for her post-war role as chairperson of the United Nations’ Commission on Human Rights.

View More

Helen Keller

The famed advocate for the blind and disabled is buried alongside Annie Sullivan in the Cathedral crypt.

View More

John Walker

The first black bishop of Washington was an outspoken foe of apartheid and also helped complete construction of his beloved Cathedral.

View More

Archbishop Romero

Archbishop Oscar Romero was a fighter for human rights and the poor before he was assassinated in 1980.

View More

Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council that revolutionized the Catholic Church’s relations with other Christians.

View More

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian and pastor who was martyred by the Nazi regime and knew all too well the cost of discipleship.

View More

Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer was a theological tour de force of the early 20th century but devoted his life medical missionary service.

View More

Howard Thurman

Howard Thurman provided much of the theological underpinnings of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

View More

Works of Mercy

Together, the six figures at the high altar challenge believers and nonbelievers alike to be a force for compassion in the world.

View More

Martin Luther King Jr.

The sculpture of Dr. King recalls his last Sunday sermon before his death, preached at the Cathedral in 1968.

View More