Washington is the capital city of the United States. It is located on the north bank of the Potomac River. George Washington, the first President of the USA, after whom the city was named, selected an area for the capital. A hundred square miles were taken from states of Maryland and Virginia. It was called the District of Columbia.
The city is divided into four sections: NW, NE, SW, and SE. Numbered streets run north and south: First Street, Second Street… Lettered streets such as A-street, B-street run east and west. Bear in mind that every section has an independent street system. If you’re looking for Third Street, you need to know what section of the city it is in.
Washington is one of the most beautiful and unusual cities in the United States. It has little industry, and only one million people. One reason Washington looks different from other cities is that no building in the city may be more than 40 metres tall. There are no skyscrapers, because they would hide the city’s many monuments from view.
One can easily find a park, a square or an open area there. The most impressive and the best-known ones are the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The heart of Washington is the Capitol, which is connected with the White House by Pennsylvania Avenue. It dominates the city of Washington. All the tourists begin sightseeing from the Capitol and see the Senate Chamber, the Hall of Representatives, the Statuary Hall and some others.
Thousands of tourists visit Washington every day. People from all parts of the United States come to see their capital and the monuments to those who in past centuries struggled for the independence of their country. The Washington Monument, the tallest stone structure in the USA, is in the Potomac River. It was opened to the public in 1888. It is 555 feet tall, is called the "Pencil" because of its shape. It is three blocks south of the White House. There is an elevator, which will carry you to 500-foot level observation windows.
The Lincoln Memorial is in the west of the Washington Monument. It is designed like a Greek temple. The dominant figure is the realistic figure of Abraham Lincoln seated in the centre of the open temple. The Jefferson Memorial is worth seen, too. It is situated south of the Washington monument near the Potomac River.
The Library of Congress contains millions of books and manuscripts. People are also interested in churches and cathedrals. The Washington Cathedral is on Massachusetts Avenue, and the Arlington National Cemetery is outside the city limits just across the Potomac River near the Pentagon in Virginia. The famous Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is visited by millions of people every year.
Washington is the place where mass demonstrations take place against unemployment and racism, for democracy and civil rights.