From the prominent Washington Memorial in Washington D.C. to Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the USA is chockablock with iconic monuments. These monuments tell the story of America’s rich past and commemorate some of the most important episodes in American history. Looking to add some places of interest to your itinerary? Here are some of the most famous monuments in the US.
7 of the Most Famous Monuments in the US
1. Lincoln Memorial
Looking like an ancient Greek temple, the Lincoln Memorial dominates the west end of the National Mall in Washington D.C. In the centre of the monument is a statue of Abraham Lincoln gazing across the reflection pond to the Capitol. Inscribed on the wall are the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s second inaugural address. In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr stood on this monument and delivered his “I have a dream” speech.
2. Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore is a monument dedicated to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Carved into the granite of the Black Hills in South Dakota are the heads of these four great American presidents. This monument is controversial. The Lakota Indians call the mountain the Six Grandfathers and is a sacred place for them. However, the United States requisitioned the land from them. The Native Americans saw the carving of the heads into the mountain as a great sign of disrespect.
3. Washington Memorial
The obelisk-shaped Washington Monument is the most prominent structure in Washington, D.C. It was constructed in 1884 to commemorate George Washington, the first president of the United States. The monument is 555-feet (169 metres) tall. As a result, from its observation deck, you can see nearly 25 miles (40km) into the distance in every direction. Once the tallest building in the world, the Washington Monument still holds the title of the world’s tallest stone structure. It is also the world’s tallest obelisk.
4. Liberty Bell
The 940kg Liberty Bell is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. People would ring the bell on important historic occasions. For instance, it was rung on July 8th 1776 for the first reading of the Declaration of Independence. The bell rang in February 1846 to celebrate Washington’s birthday. On George Washington’s birthday, the Liberty Bell cracked beyond repair. It 1852 the bell moved from the steeple of the State House and today resides at the Liberty Bell Center. On the bell are the words “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”
5. Cloud Gate
Created in 2004, the Cloud Gate is a bean-shaped outdoor sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park. The stainless-steel monument mirrors the city skyline and reflects the clouds above. The Cloud Gate is one of the world’s largest permanent outdoor art installations and one of Chicago’s most photographed attractions.
6. Golden Gate Bridge
The iconic orange bridge in San Francisco spans the Golden Gate Strait. This is a narrow waterway that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. When completed in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge had the longest span in the world. Even though it is no longer the longest bridge in the world, it is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It is free and easy to walk across the bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center is really informative and well worth a visit.
7. Statue Of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886 and commemorates the end of the U.S. Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Fondly known as Lady Liberty, it stands on Liberty Island at the entrance to New York Harbor. The statue depicting Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty was a gift from the people of France. A plaque at the base reads “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. This is from Emma Lazarus’ poem, The New Colossus. Visitors can climb 146 steps up to the crown and walk around and admire the beautiful views of New York.