In the stillness of the early morning, an altar in a chapel in the Washington National Cathedral offers a peaceful respite for visitors to this national landmark. The life of Jesus Christ is told in the intricate details of the golden altar. It is set against the Cathedral’s sturdy walls, made of Indiana limestone, that takes on a different hue under the dimmed lights of the chapel. It is a beautiful place to just sit, leave everyday tasks and challenges behind, and quietly celebrate life. This chapel-styled area is only a small part of the cathedral that took 83 years to build.
The concept of a National Cathedral dates back to the days of George Washington. It was not until 1896 that the land on Mount Saint Alban, the most commanding spot in the Washington area, was secured as the location for the cathedral. While it was under construction and since, the cathedral has been the site of many notable events including President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1907 speech, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last sermon, and President Ronald Reagan’s state funeral. It is a house of worship; its most common use is to be the site where worshipers and visitors are given the opportunity to experience peaceful moments like the one in this image.