Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

The purpose of the cathedral was to be a “great church with a national purpose, equally open to all” and it has been the home to many memorial services, funerals and religious ceremonies.  Martin Luther King Jr. preached his last Sunday sermon from the Washington National Cathedral in 1963 shortly before his assassination.  Billy Graham preached there at the memorial service held after the 9/11 tragedy.  The cathedral was begun under the auspices of the Protestant Episcopal Church however defines its mission as ecumenical.

Construction of the cathedral began in 1907 and was completed in 1990 using only medieval construction techniques in keeping with its fourteenth century English Gothic design.  Most likely it will be the last Gothic building attempted anywhere in the world as modern design and construction techniques make buildings like the cathedral prohibitively expensive and impractical to build (and they take too long to build; eighty-three years in this case).

It is difficult if not impossible to convey the sheer size of the cathedral and this shot of the main church entrance doesn’t do it justice even with the people on the entrance steps of the camera right doors.

The “small” cross above the table is over six feet in height.
This image below is a thirty second time exposure of a wooden crucifix located high above the main pulpit in the cathedral.  You can the see the same crucifix in the image above for some perspective.
The main pulpit.
President Woodrow Wilson lies in a tomb at the midpoint of the main cathedral.
Looking towards the main pulpit from inside the main entrance doors.
Looking back towards the Rose Window and main entrance from the midpoint of the cathedral.
It was a privilege to photograph inside the cathedral and I was most grateful for being able to use a tripod inside the church (which is normally not allowed).  The lighting inside the building is less than ideal and most of the images shown were taken at shutter speeds of more than two seconds, the longest being thirty seconds (ISO 100).  We took hundreds of images using three lenses (16-35, 24-105 & 70-200).


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    Keep focusing on your blog. I love how we can all express our feelings. This is an extremely nice blog here 🙂

  2. Thanks Arni, I’ve read Dan Browns books and it was interesting seeing some of the locations he so vividly describes…..now if only I could get to the Louvre 🙂

  3. Your new and improved blog is really a great enhancement. I enjoy reading your historical notes which are accompanied by these most excellent photos. They remind me of Dan Brown’s latest book, “The Lost Symbol”. Many of the locations of which you have photographed are in the book.