Once inside the Washington National Cathedral it is hard not to immediately look up and be impressed by the sheer height of the cathedral.  Even through the protective netting which was installed after the August, 2011 earthquake to prevent debris falling on visitors, the enormous limestone pillars and colorful flags lead your eyes up to the beautiful stained glass windows and the vaulted ceiling.

As you walk up the nave you come to the beautiful Canterbury Pulpit. Stones for the pulpit came from Canterbury Cathedral in England.

 A close-up showing the detailed carvings on the pulpit.

As you walk around to the right of the pulpit, you come to several beautiful chapels.

The War Memorial Chapel honors those who have served in the United States military. 

The Suffering Christ artwork above the altar is made of torn sheets of brass in the halo to simulate brass cannon shells, the spikes inside the halo are cast aluminum colored to remind the viewer of barbed wire and the copper rays of light in the halo look like bayonets.

A statue of the Christ Child welcomes you into the Children's Chapel, built to the scale of a six-year-old child. Note how the chairs are child-size.
Two of the detailed carvings in the reredos in the Children's Chapel...
Around the corner is St. John's Chapel.

The altar has beautiful carvings showing the Crucifixion and the Last Supper...

Through an intricately-detailed wood doorway you enter into the area of the High Altar. 110 figures of men and women exemplifying the highest ideals of Christianity surround the central figure of Christ. The altar is made from stones quarried at Solomon's Quarry near Jerusalem, reputedly where the stones for Solomon's Temple were quarried.
A 180-degree turn shows you the choir...
Beautiful wood carving in the choir stalls...
On the other side of the High Altar is St. Mary's Chapel.

The ornate reredos shows scenes from the life of Jesus' mother.

On either side of the long nave are side bays with memorials to individuals who have be instrumental in the history of our nation either through exploration, military, politics, justice, philanthropy, service or unity. Within and above those bays are some of the 200+ stained glass windows. 

In the next post I will show you some of that gorgeous stained glass. It was clear and sunny the day we visited the cathedral and the colorful effects of the sun shining through the stained glass were stunning.
For more information visit www.nationalcathedral.org.

All photos in this blog post were taken by my husband and me during our visit in September, 2013.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting these! I could not remember the names of all the beautiful carvings we saw.