Washington DC (District of Columbia). According to the latest survey, in 2007, the city had 588,000 inhabitants, while the urban area, whose boundaries coincide with those provided by the Constitution of the Federal District, it even contains 5,300,000. From the geographical point of view, Washington DC is located in the central-eastern United States, about fifty miles from the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, and is bordered to the south by Maryland and to the north by Virginia, from which it is separated by the Potomac River, the symbolic border between the states of the North and the South are located in the center all the major government institutions of the State, the President, Congress and Supreme Court, to which are added a number of ministerial bodies and some international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Organization of American States. As can be imagined, the economy of Washington DC is mainly dependent on many jobs available in many administrative offices, while other activities are gradually assuming greater importance are the tourism sector and the mass media.
The District of Columbia was born from the work of a commission established by Congress in 1790 to designate the area that would accommodate the political center of the new Federation. The choice was marked by disagreements between the countries of the South and the North, until, in 1791, was identified a central and easily accessible from the sea, which extended on both banks of the Potomac, in the states of Maryland and Virginia, acceptable compromise between North and South was then applied to the states concerned an area that originally had an area of 100 square miles in 1846, the part located on the right bank of the river was returned to Virginia and the District of Columbia was reduced to current 67 miles square. Identified the area, it was to build a city that would represent worthily the United States: the task was entrusted to a French military engineer, Pierre Charles L’Enfant, and two years later, when Philadelphia served as the temporary capital, George Washington DC. laid the foundation stone of the north wing of the Capitol. The plan proposed by L’Enfant exalted the power of the space, the harmony of proportions and spectacular architectural solutions, all based on a classical language deeply. Today, Washington DC is a modern metropolis, austere and lively, relaxed and efficient theater of American politics and the world.
Pierre L’Enfant did his best to make sure that no one could get lost in Washington DC. Although spread over a wide area, the original scheme of the center has remained unchanged, with its development essentially horizontal, so that no building exceeding 60 meters of the dome of the State Capitol, located in the crossroads of three major avenues, East Capitol Street, South Capitol Street and North Capitol Street, and the Mall. These guidelines, in turn, divide the city into four sectors: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest, so that the addresses are always followed by abbreviations (NE, NW, SE, SW) indicate that the corresponding sector.
Mandatory starting point for visiting the city is the U.S. Capital, seat of the U.S. legislature. The element that immediately jumps to the eye is the immense dome, internally painted by a painter of Italian origin, Constantino Brumidi, the Apotheosis of Washington DC. Below it is the Rotunda, which is accessed from the Columbus Doors, massive bronze doors which represents the discovery of America. Adjacent to the Rotunda is the Statuary Hall, which was originally the House of Representatives, with exceptional acoustics. Leaving the room, we find the statue of Will Rogers, the American humorist known for his satire to Congress. Do not miss the Senate office buildings and House office building, reached by underground railway.
Just in front of the east side of the Capitol stands the Supreme Court Building, a building of white marble and high Corinthian columns built between 1929 and 1935. It hosts the headquarters of the Federal Supreme Court and the offices of the nine judges to whom is entrusted the task of interpreting the Constitution. The Library of Congress, the “Library of Congress”, instead consists of three buildings: the Beaux Arts Jefferson Building, the Adam Building and the Madison Memorial Building. The library, which is the largest in the world, with more than 25 million books, counts among the most precious volumes the Gutenberg Bible of 1455 and the Declaration of Independence, visible inside the Madison Memorial Building. Always near the Capitol extend the U.S. Botanic Gardens, botanical gardens that boast tropical plants, sub-tropical and desert, offering a welcome break to visit the austere government buildings.
The Mall is the huge green open space that combines spectacularly the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, on the right, leaving the Ellipse over which stands the White House. Numerous museums overlook along the paths that cross this great lawn. Among these the most important is undoubtedly the National Gallery of Art, one of the most important art galleries in the world, divided into two buildings: the West Building, designed by John Russell Pope, which houses masterpieces from the twelfth to the nineteenth century, including including works by Raphael, Rembrandt, Monet, and the Portrait of Ginevra Benci by Leonardo da Vinci and East Building, built in 1978 by architect IM Pei, where an exhibition of modern art. The most visited museum, however, is the National Air and Space Museum, which dominate the Spirit of Saint Louis, the plane in which Lindbergh made the first transatlantic flight from New York to Paris, the biplane of the Wright brothers and the spacecraft Friedship 7, as well as moon rocks and relics and artifacts from the history of aviation divided into 23 rooms. In addition to the two already mentioned, the other museums in the area are: the Arts and Industries Building, an exhibition that recalls that famous performance of the Centennial Exhibition of American Technology, the Smithsonian “Castle”, the headquarters of the 14 Smithsonian museums, housed in a building constructed in 1852 as a true red brick castle with towers embattled, and the Museum of African Art, devoted to sub-Saharan Africa, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, which houses a vast collection of works of art from China, South Asia and South East Persia, the Freer Gallery of Art, itself inspired by Asian art such as paintings of James Mc Neil Whistler, preserved in the Peacock Room, which alone is worth the visit to the museum, the National Museum of Natural History, which houses a vast collection of natural history specimens in a beautiful Neoclassical, and the National Museum of American History, dedicated, as the name suggests, the rich American history.
The symbol of Washington DC, however, the White House, the White House. The building has hosted every president of the United States, with the exception of George Washington., But chose the place on which give rise to the palace. Of the 132 rooms that comprise only 5 are open to the public, while best known as the Oval Room, East Room, Green Room, the Red Room and the Blue Room, are strictly accessible only to trusted men of the President.
The district is the home of President Foggy Bottom, an area in which stand many other interesting tourist sites: the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the oldest private gallery in the city, where an exhibition of works by Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a huge building constructed between 1964 and 1971 in which there are a concert hall, two theaters, a cinema and various restaurants, the Washington Monument, an obelisk 170 feet high and visible from every corner of the city, the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial, the memorial designed by Maya Ying Lin, dedicated to the 58,156 killed in the Vietnam War, the Lincoln Memorial, built between 1915 and 1921 on the model of an ancient greek temple, and the Jefferson Memorial, a circular monument romantically in front of the Tidal Basin.
Other points of interest, especially for lovers of nature, are: the National Zoological Park, one of the largest and most beautiful zoos in the world, home in their habitat purpose reconstructed many rare animals, including the American eagle, kangaroos and exotic birds, the National Arboretum, a huge park, full of plants and flowers from all over the world, and Mount Vernon, where a large garden are the home and the tomb of George Washington.
The climate has continental characteristics and subtropics, being characterized by hot summers and wet winters and moderately cold. In July, temperatures tend to oscillate between 31 and 22 degrees, even if the record this month is even 41, and in January the values decrease and stood at 6 and -3 degrees. Rainfall, evenly distributed over all 12 months, are in the order of 1000 mm of rain per year, and in January and February are often in the form of snow. Hurricanes are a relative hazard, since they can actually reach the city limits, but only after downloading most of their strength going up all over the southern United States. The best times to visit Washington DC are the ones that are from April to mid- June, when the cherry blossoms offer an enchanting spectacle, and from September to mid-November.
There are three airports in the city: the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, located just across the Potomac and intended for domestic flights, the Washington. Dulles International Airport, located about forty miles west of the center and used for international traffic, and the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall, 50 km north-east of Washington DC, the so-called “airport in the metropolitan area.” To move the center most convenient way is the subway, Metrorail, one of our most functional, clean and efficient in the country. The Metrobus is instead the public road transport, with hours that coincide roughly with those of the meter. Union Station is the train station, run by Amtrak. To move around in the car outside the city limits, you can enter in one of three interstate highways directly accessible: I-295, I-395 and I-495.
Originally posted 2012-09-28 02:50:21.