The capital of the United States of America was founded in 1791 in the District of Columbia. The capital received the name of Washington - after the name of the commander-in-chief of the American army in the War for Independence who became the first President of the United States. President Washington himself took an active part in choosing the place for the capital. He invited a famous French engineer, Pierre Charles L'Enfant. With a help and advice of Washington, he drew a plan of a city with straight streets running far into a great distance. It was something new in those days.
There is a law in Washington against building structures higher than the Capitol; therefore it represents a different appearance from New York with its sky-scrapers. The Capitol, where the Congress meets is a very high and beautiful building with white marble columns. It is in the very centre of the city. Four avenues radiate from the Capitol dividing the city into four parts. Not far from the Capitol is the Library of Congress. It holds five million books.
Today Washington is a city which attracts a lot of tourists by its fashionable hotels, restaurants and sightseeing attractions as "Mount Vernon" the house of the first president George Washington, the Lincoln Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the White House and others. The White House, the residence of the president, is the oldest public structure in the capital and one of the most beautiful. Among the newer buildings one of the most imposing is the National Gallery of Art.
The city of Washington, with its long wide avenues, with shady trees on both sides, its low buildings and its crowds of government officials is very interesting and beautiful.