National Cathedral and National Zoo

Posted by barb on Mar 31, 2003 in Around DC |

Today I took my parents to see the National Cathedral and the National Zoo in Washington, DC. I’ve been to both before, so I knew that they would enjoy them. Hopefully pictures will follow soon.

The Cathedral was built in a gothic style. I feel very small inside the main worship area. The Cathedral, as all gothic cathedrals, is built in the shape of a cross, and the distance along from one end to another along the longer length is one tenth of a mile! Construction started in 1907, but because it was constructed using the same tried and true techniques of the classic cathedrals, it took 83 years to finish. The last brick was installed in 1990. Although, the cathedral was in use since the first chapel was finished in 1912 (? or 1913).

One of my two favorite parts of the Cathedral are the “Science and Technology” stained glass window. This window has a moon-like shape, with a dashed line showing how the Apollo missions flew around the moon. In the center of the moon-shape is an actual piece of moon-rock.

The other fun thing about the building is the plethora of gargoyles. Unfortunately, today was cold (high of 48 degrees F) and windy. Dad and I did spend some time looking at the gargoyles, and Dad snapped some pictures for me with his zoom lens. However, even his expensive camera may not have been enough to capture the Darth Vader gargoyle. From the ground, Darth Vader is about 270 feet up! We’ll see in a couple days how his pictures turned out.

After that we drove over to the zoo. It’s been a weird spring so far, with nearly 80’s weather two days last week, and then snow yesterday. Today it was cold, but the zoo is fairly well protected from the wind, so it wasn’t too bad, especially when we were in the sun. However, a lot of the animals seemed to be inside their houses or hiding in some warmer spots, so there were several we couldn’t see. However, we did get to see our favorites: the tiger, lion, seal and zebras. We also got to see the pandas! They were cute, of course. But just as we were walking to their enclosure, we started seeing flurries. Ugh. I hate DC springs. We still stayed and watched for a bit, and oddly enough, as we were heading to the gift shop ten minutes later, half the sky was blue, but snow was still falling.

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