The Lincoln Memorial is a national monument located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., United States. It was built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The monument was designed by Henry Bacon, an American Beaux-Arts architect, and features a neoclassical design with a massive statue of Lincoln seated in the center. The figure is 19 feet tall and was created by sculptor Daniel Chester French.
The Lincoln Memorial was built between 1914 and 1922 and was officially dedicated on May 30, 1922. The monument is made of marble from Colorado and Tennessee and stands 99 feet tall. It features 36 fluted Doric columns, representing the 36 states that were in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death in 1865. The interior of the memorial is just as impressive as the exterior, and the walls are inscribed with Lincoln's most famous speeches, the Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address.
Why visit the Lincoln Memorial?
Historical significance. The Lincoln Memorial is an iconic symbol of American history and democracy. It honors one of the most revered presidents in U.S. history and serves as a reminder of his contributions to the nation. The memorial also has played host to many important events in U.S. history, including Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and presidential inaugurations.
Architectural beauty. The monument's neoclassical design is stunning, and the sheer size of the statue of Lincoln is awe-inspiring. You can admire the intricate details of the marble columns, as well as the impressive murals and inscriptions inside.
Educational opportunities. Visiting the Lincoln Memorial provides an opportunity to learn more about Abraham Lincoln and his impact on American history. The speeches inscribed on the walls are some of the most important in American history, and you can learn about Lincoln's role in the Civil War and the abolition of slavery.
Quiet reflection. Despite being a popular tourist destination, the Lincoln Memorial also provides a peaceful space for quiet reflection. You can sit on the steps of the monument or inside the memorial and contemplate the historical significance of Lincoln's legacy.
Free admission. Like many national monuments, admission to the Lincoln Memorial is free of charge, making it an accessible attraction for all visitors.
Nighttime visits. The Lincoln Memorial is open 24 hours a day, allowing visitors to experience the monument's beauty and significance at night. The illuminated statue and columns make for a breathtaking sight after dark.
National Mall location. The Lincoln Memorial is located on the National Mall, which is also home to other iconic national monuments and museums. You can spend the whole day exploring the area and taking in the many sights and attractions.
Best places to visit near Lincoln Memorial
National Mall. A long stretch of grassy parkland that runs from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol building. It's a popular spot for picnics and people-watching and is home to numerous landmarks and attractions.
Reflecting Pool. The large pool that sits in front of the Lincoln Memorial and offers beautiful views of the National Mall.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A moving tribute to those who served and lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
Korean War Veterans Memorial. A beautiful monument that commemorates the sacrifices of the people who served during the Korean War.
National World War II Memorial. A stunning monument dedicated to those who served and lost their lives in World War II.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. A striking monument to the civil rights leader, featuring a 30-foot-tall statue of Dr. King.
Tidal Basin. A large, man-made basin that's surrounded by cherry blossom trees. It's a popular spot for picnics, walking, and jogging.
Smithsonian Institution. A collection of about two dozen museums and galleries that offer a range of exhibits on science, history, and culture. Some of the most popular museums include the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, and the National Museum of Natural History.
The White House. The official residence of the President of the United States. You can take a tour of the White House, although tickets must be reserved in advance.
United States Capitol. The building where the U.S. Congress meets. You can take a tour of the Capitol building, including the Senate and House of Representatives chambers.
What is Lincoln's statue made of?
The statue is made of 28 blocks of white Georgia marble and weighs 175 tons.
What's the best way to see the Lincoln Memorial?
Plan your visit during off-peak hours. The Lincoln Memorial is a popular tourist destination, so it can get very crowded. To catch the most quiet time, try to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Take a tour. A guided or self-guided tour can give you a more in-depth understanding of the memorial's history and significance. Many tour operators offer tours of the National Mall that include stops at the Lincoln Memorial and other landmarks.
Walk the Reflecting Pool. The Reflecting Pool is a long, rectangular pool that stretches from the Lincoln Memorial to the National World War II Memorial. Walking along the pool can give you a unique perspective of the memorial and the National Mall.