The Lincoln Memorial is located on the western end of the on the National Mall. The memorial was built between 1915 and 1922 to honour the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). It is a symbol of freedom, and it has often been the site of civil rights gatherings and speeches. The probably most prominent speech at this site was the famous "I have a dream" speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. during the March on Washington in 1963.
Architecture & Art
The building of the Lincoln Memorial was designed by Henry Bacon. The 36 marble columns remind of the architecture of a Greek temple. Each column actually stands for one state in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death (1865). The names of the 48 states at the time of the dedication of the memorial and the dates when they joined the Union are inscribed above the colonnade. Alaska and Hawaii were added at a later stage on the front steps.
An impressive marble statue of Abraham Lincoln is located in the centre of the memorial - designed by Daniel Chester French. The statue sits directly beneath the words "In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever."
The words of Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address (1863) are inscribed on the south wall of the memorial, while you'll find his Second Inaugural Address on the north wall.
Fun & Interesting
You find the display of the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse of U.S. one-cent coins and on the back of U.S. five-dollar bills. On the front of the coins and the bills, Lincoln's portrait is displayed.
Don't miss the great view at the top of the steps of the memorial across the Reflecting Pool.