The Washington Monument is an obelisk located at the National Mall, in Washington, D.C. It was built to commemorate George Washington, who was both commander-in-chief of the early Continental Army and the first American president.
The obelisk stands due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial. The monument is made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss. With 169.294 metres of height, it is known to be the world’s tallest stone structure as well as the world’s tallest obelisk.
Construction of the Washington Monument began in 1848, and was halted from 1854 to 1877 due to a lack of funds, a struggle for control over the Washington National Monument Society, and the American Civil War. The stone structure was completed in 1884 while some finishing touches were not ready until 1888. It officially opened in October of that same year. It was the world’s tallest structure until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France.
Washington Monument’s most iconic view is that of the fifty American flags that are flown around. This tradition was stated for Washington’s birthday since 1920 and later on Independence Day, Memorial Day, and other special occasions until early 1958. Since July 4, 1971, 50 American flags have flown 24 hours a day.
Nowadays, visitors can go all the way up to the top of Washington Monument and get a magnificent view of its surroundings from the observation deck. Little below this point, there is also a museum open to visitors. Due to the monument’s height, the activity is usually unavailable in case of strong winds or thunderstorms.