For several decades, we have made periodic trips to our nartion's capital, visiting the monuments, Smithsonian museums, Arlington National Cemetery, even the White House. During all of those visits, we never made it to the National Cathedral. This oversight became a bucket-list priority for our current visit. Our daughter, Madonna, and her husband, Josh, spent the better part of two days with us, which included completing this bucket-list item (and we really enjoyed their company). What a glorious building!
Officially known as "The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the city and diocese of Washington", it is the sixth-largest cathedral in the world and the second-largest in America. While construction began in 1907, it took 83 years to complete the process. "Completion" is not really the proper term to use. Architects for the cathedral deliberately left parts of the exterior and interior decorations blank so that future generations could add their own signatures to the building. In August of 2011, the cathedral sustained 34 million dollars worth of damage from the Virginia Earthquake. Repairs are ongoing.
There is just so much to see within the cathedral, that we decided to return for a second visit. This proved to be a great decision on our part. We met Chris Garten, director of the cathedral's gift shop and a part-time historian of the building. Chris spent an hour-and-a-half giving us a personal tour of the edifice, and showing us many of its little known secrets. We greatly appreciated his time spent with us, and thank him for this wonderful experience.