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11 Best Religious And Sacred Places In Washington DC

Tourist Attractions : Best Religious And Sacred Places In Washington DC

Washington DC‘s capital is home to a wide range of religious and sacred places that cater to different religious traditions and beliefs. These religious places are a great place to experience a peaceful meditation.

Tourists come to D.C. for the Capitol, White House, Washington Memorial, and other historical places. Even D.C. locals may not know that the nation’s capitol is also home to many Catholic memorials, sites, symbols and monuments, all interwoven with history and politics.

The neighborhood of Brookland is affectionately known as “Little Rome.” It’s hard to walk around without seeing some sort of Catholic symbolism or monument. 

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The Catholic University of America is located in the area, as are the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the St. John Paul II National Shrine.

Here’s a list of 11 best religious and sacred places in Washington DC which you must explore.

Washington National Cathedral # 1

Washington National Cathedral, the sixth largest cathedral in the entire world, is an architectural marvel, a house of prayer that all Americans can use, and a place where the nation gathers in times of joy and sorrow.

The construction of this Gothic-style cathedral, built in the 20th century, began in 1907 but was not completed until 1990. 

The cathedral has hosted presidential funerals, prayer services for inaugural ceremonies, and many historical moments, such as the last Sunday sermon of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land # 2

The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is a historic monastery located in Washington DC. It contains replicas from famous Holy Land shrines, such as Mount Calvary or the tomb of Jesus.

Guided tours can be arranged for those who want a deeper experience. The tours last about an hour, and they are free.

The Brookland neighborhood in northeast Washington is home to the monastery. The historic complex features a brick church in a buff color and gardens. Also, there are outdoor statues and shrines.

Golden Lotus Temple # 3

Golden Lotus Temple was inaugurated in 1952 and aims to inspire everyone to discover God within their soul. 

Each element of the temple’s architecture has a special meaning in our everyday lives. The blue reflecting pool in the shape a foot at the entrance symbolizes what one leaves behind. 

The temple grounds will provide visitors with a relaxing and tranquil experience.

National Presbyterian Church # 4

The National Presbyterian Church in Washington DC’s northwest is a large, historic congregation that has played a significant role in the history of Washington DC for more than two centuries. 

It is a part of the Presbyterian Church, USA and governed according to the polity.

The main sanctuary of the church is designed as a cross. It has a 65-foot (20 meter) ceiling which looks like Noah’s Ark. The church has one of Washington, D.C.’s largest pipe organs.

The church is multigenerational and offers classes, programs, concerts, service projects, and many other activities. Its mission statement is to connect people with God and each other. 

The care and connection of the church extends to people of all ages, through programs such as children’s ministry and youth ministries, older adult fellowships, men’s women’s ministries, and deacons’ and elders’ ministries.

Fazl Mosque, Washington, D.C. # 5

Fazl Mosque, located near the White House and several embassies, opened seven years before the Islamic Center of Washington.

It is also the longest-serving mosque in Washington, D.C. 

Foundry United Methodist Church # 6

Foundry United Methodist Church, located in Washington DC is one of oldest and most active congregations in the city. This church is known for its excellent preaching ministry, outreach program and music.

If you’re looking for a welcoming church, the Foundry United Methodist Church will be a good choice. Ginger Gaines Cirelli, the Senior Pastor of this church is an excellent preacher. The church choir also puts on a great musical performance each Sunday.

This is a progressive, historic United Methodist Church that welcomes everyone. They value radical welcome, social engagement locally, globally, and a community which celebrates and bridges differences.

The Hindu Temple in Metropolitan Washington # 7

The Hindu Temple Metropolitan Washington is among the oldest Hindu temples of the United States. The temple was established in 1982 and offers visitors from all religions the opportunity to experience peace, tranquility, and a connection with their inner selves. 

Many people are reminded of the temple architecture found in northern India by the external façade.

The temple provides puja, havan and jagran services for local Hindus on various occasions. The temple also offers a banquet room and auditorium to help the local Hindu community celebrate different festivals and occasions.

Cathedral of Saint Matthew The Apostle # 8

This stunning cathedral, founded in 1849 is worth a visit just for its Byzantine-style interior. 

The church’s exterior is red bricked and its interior features rich decorations, including colorful mosaics.

You are encouraged to book a tour if you wish to know more about the church.

Kesher Israel Congregation # 9

Kesher Israel Congregation in Washington DC is an historic Modern Orthodox Synagogue. This is a great place to learn about halakhic Judaism and worship.

The main sanctuary of the Kesher Israel Synagogue can accommodate less than 250 people. The sanctuary is a cozy, comfortable place to attend services.

St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral # 10

St. Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, D.C., was built as the first Orthodox cathedral in America.

It is also the home of Tikhon, the Archbishop and Metropolitan of All America, Canada and Washington of the Orthodox Church of America.

Ekoji Buddhist Temple # 11

Ekoji is the temple of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha Japanese Buddhist Sect located in Fairfax Station, Virginia, close to Washington, D.C. It is a part of the Buddhist Churches of America (the oldest Buddhist organization on the US mainland).

Ekoji, a fellowship founded in 1981 with a diverse ethnic and racial makeup, offers Buddhist education for children and adults. All services are conducted in English.

Ekoji, which means “Temple of the Gift of Light” in Japanese, was founded in 1981. Its first location was a condominium office building in Springfield Virginia.

The temple is the home of the taiko drummers Nen Daiko.

There are many Ekoji temples in Japan as well as Dusseldorf Germany, and Mexico City.



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