Washington Monument is a granite obelisk, weighing ninety-one tons, lined with pure white Maryland marble. The obelisk is one hundred sixty-nine meters tall.
It was built during 1848-1884 in Washington between the Capitol and the White House. The obelisk monument is for the first U.S. president, George Washington.
George Washington led the Continental Army to victory in the war of independence against Britain in 1789. He was known as the father of the nation and was elected first president of the United States.
Before construction of the Eiffel Tower, this obelisk was the highest structure on the planet ever. The top of the obelisk is reached by a staircase, which has eight hundred ninety-six steps.
You can also use a lift. On the east side at the top of the monument are carved two Latin words - Laus Deo, which translated means the glory of God.
Every new day begins in the U.S. with the first ray of sun shining on this inscription.
The process of creating the monument was launched in 1832, when they celebrated one hundred years of the birth of George Washington.
Citizens created a society to build the monument and began to collect voluntary donations. Any citizen, who wished to help the cause, had to sacrifice only one dollar.
By the mid-thirties of the nineteenth century, they managed to collect twenty-eight thousand dollars and announced a competition to design the monument.
The competition was held in 1836. The winner was architect Robert Mills. He projects an obelisk with the statue of the president.
It was a column, which becomes narrower towards the top. Around the obelisk were columns in a circle in the middle of which would be a statue of the president. In the colonnade would be located thirty statues of heroes of the American Revolution.
Because of criticism at the project and its insane price of one million dollars, the public rejected the project. Ultimately, however, the cost of the monument came to 1, 817, 710 dollars, which exceeded almost twice the original value of the project.
In 1848, a decision was made to build the obelisk and the issue of an additional column was postponed for consideration at a later stage. To column was never made.
By then, through voluntary contributions were collected eighty-seven thousand dollars. The founders of the organization to build a monument, however, were confident that once started, the monument will be built quickly because people would want to support this noble cause.
The modern monument is a hollow column, which in its upper part has a four- sided pyramid. It has a deck with eight windows facing the four cardinal points.
The outer walls of the monument are covered with 189 memorial tiles, which are donated by famous people, cities, states, countries and institutions.
In the initial stage of construction Pope Pius the Ninth gave a plate for the monument. This plate was stolen and destroyed by an anti-Catholic League. Its representatives were able to get control of the organization for the construction of the monument, by buying a controlling stake. This delayed the construction of the monument.
The films, in which the Washington Monument appears, are many. Among them is the blockbuster "2012". In one frame the monument was destroyed by an earthquake, then its ruins are overrun by a tsunami.
Washington Monument is surrounded by pillars and on top of each of them, a mast is flown with the flags of the different states.