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WELCOME TO OUR EXCURSION
Washington, DC is the capital of the USA. It was so named in memory of George Washington, the first president of the USA.
The city stands on the Potomac River.
A special district was created for the American capital – the District of Columbia. That’s what the letters DC in the name of the city stand for. There are 50 states in the country, but the city of Washington is not in any of them.
The District of Columbia is bordered by the State of Maryland to the north and Virginia to the south.
Washington is like no other city of the USA. It’s the world’s largest one-industry city. And that industry is government.
The White House, where the US President lives and works, the Capitol, the home of the US Congress, and the Supreme Court, are all in Washington. All the foreign embassies are there too.
The population of the city is about 550,000 people but with the suburbs it numbers nearly 4 million.
Because government is the city’s only industry, the level of pollution is quite low in Washington. The city is very green. There are many beautiful parks and gardens. It is interesting to see the famous cherry trees which are the gift from Japan.
Washington is one of the most beautiful and unusual cities in the USA. The huge dome of the Capitol rises in the very centre of the capital.
Capitol Hill is the highest place in the city. It was built according to the plans of William Thornton, an amateur architect. The building is made of stone and marble and contains 540 rooms. Topping the dome is a huge bronze statue of Freedom. There is a law that forbids building houses higher than the Capitol so there are no skyscrapers in Washington.
The Capitol is the seat of Congress which consists of two Chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The members of the Congress meet in the Capitol to discuss the nation’s affairs.
Not far from the Capitol is the Library of Congress, the largest library in the States. It contains more than 13 million books and more than 19 million manuscripts.
The official residence of the president of the USA is the White House. George Washington died in 1799 and he did not live in that House. The first President who lived there was John Adams in 1800.
The White House has 132 rooms and is open for tours. The President works in the Oval Office of the White House.
One can hardly find a park, a square or an open area in Washington without a monument or a memorial. The Washington Monument, The Jefferson Memorial and The Lincoln Memorial are the most famous and nice ones.
The Washington Monument is one of the city’s most impressive sights. It is called “The Pencil”, because it is one of the tallest stone constructions in the world. The Monument is over 555 feet high.
The Jefferson Memorial was built in honour of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the USA. On the walls of the Memorial there are extracts from Jefferson’s works. The Memorial is a very picturesque place, surrounded by cherry trees.
The Lincoln Memorial reminds everybody of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the USA. The Memorial looks like a Greek temple, and it has 36 columns, one for each state at the time of Lincoln’s death. There is a huge statue of Abraham Lincoln inside the Memorial.
There are many museums and art galleries in the city.
The National Gallery of Art has a lot of art collections by the great masters from the 14th to the 19th centuries. It is one of the finest picture galleries in the country.
Washington takes pride in its world-class museums at the Smithsonian Institution. There is something for everyone:
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, where visitors can see the history of flight from the first airplane flown by the Wright brothers to the Apollo spaceship;
the Smithsonian Natural History Museum;
the Smithsonian American History Museum and many more.
People from all parts of the United States come to see their capital and thousands of foreign tourists visit Washington every day.
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