The Lincoln Memorial is an American national monument that honors President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. It was built on the western end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. by architect Henry Bacon, sculptor of the primary statue Daniel Chester French, and painter of the interior murals Jules Guerin. It is located across from the Washington Monument and was dedicated in 1922.
The form of the building is that of a Greek Doric temple. It is well known because of its large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln, which is 5.8 metres tall from head to foot and weighs 159 tons. The statue alone took four years to complete and it was carved in Georgia white marble.
Lincoln’s arms rest on representations of Roman fasces, which associate the statue with the Augustan theme of the Washington Mall. Between the two pilasters that border the statue and above Lincoln’s head lies the engraved epitaph, composed by Royal Cortissoz. The monument also holds inscriptions of two famous speeches by Lincoln.
Lincoln Memorial is one of the National Historic Places since 1966. In 2007, the American Institute of Architects also declared it the seventh America’s Favorite Architecture. It is open to the public 24 hours a day and roughly 6 million people visit it annually. It is usually very crowded with tourists and groups of school students. It is commonly less busy in the hours before dawn.
During the night, exterior lights illuminate the building in a dramatic fashion. There is no artificial illumination inside the memorial at any time. This is why it is usually not a very bright scenario for photographers and most visitors take flash pictures.