Washington, D.C. is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Visitors come to experience the best of the nation’s arts, culture, history, and food. But regardless of what draws you to the nation’s capitol, you’ll inevitably end up amongst the collection of tall, iconic monuments and buildings scattered around the National Mall.
The Washington Monument—a shining stone obelisk—is a great point of reference when exploring the neighborhood, as it is the tallest structure in the city and can be easily seen from across the city. You’ll also recognize the White House, the picturesque home of our nation’s leader, as well as the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial. These white-stone monuments are the most famous and iconic landmarks in the area.
Of course, with so many famous constructions in town, there are just as many that get lost in the shadows they cast. Here are our favorite, underrated Washington, D.C. memorials.
The Einstein Memorial
Sitting in an elm and holly grove on the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences, an old man sits on some steps with a book in his lap. The humble intrigue and warm facial expressions of the great Albert Einstein is brilliantly captured in this bronze imagining. The sculpture and memorial is a lesser known marvel of the vast collection of honorary art works throughout Washington DC.
Taras Shevchenko Statue
Standing tall and proud on P Street in the beloved neighborhood of Dupont Circle, another bronze statue honors Taras Shevchenko, a visionary thinker, poet and artist from the Ukraine. Stepping outside of the assumed trend of American figures memorialized in DC, the Shevchenko Statue is both visually stunning and emblematic of the city’s attraction to freedom, domestic or international.
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial
The Martin Luther King Jr Memorial is hands down one of the most breathtaking and emotionally moving pieces of art in all of Washington DC. The grand statue is magnificently crafted, the atmosphere of West Potomac Park is marvelous, decorated by the pink hue of cherry blossom trees in the spring and summer. The symbolism is extraordinary, as the mold of King is seemingly pulled out of two, set back, blocks of stone. The concept comes from a Martin Luther King Jr quote, “Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”