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Washington D.C.

Washington D.C.







Washington D.C., officially called the District of Columbia, is the capital of the United States of America. It is administered as a federal district, a different entity to the fifty states that make up that nation, and reports directly to the federal government. The District of Columbia was founded on July 16, 1790, and in 1791 a new city named Washington, east of the existing Georgetown, became official within the district. In 1871 the governments of these two cities and of the rest of the towns of the district were unified into a single entity, D.C. It is located on the banks of the Potomac River and is surrounded by the states of Virginia to the west, and Maryland to the north, east and south.

The city of Washington was born as a planned city, and was developed at the end of the 18th century to serve as the permanent national capital, after various localities held that position since the independence of the country, in 1776; meanwhile, the federal district was formed to mark the difference between the national capital and the states. The city was named in honor of George Washington, the first president of the United States. The name of the district, Columbia, is the poetic name of the United States, in reference to Christopher Columbus (in English Christopher Columbus), first explorer to reach America. The city is commonly called Washington, the District (the District) or simply D.C. In the 19th century it was also known as the Federal City or the City of Washington.


Main travel destinations in Washington D.C.

White House (Washington D.C.)

1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Open: 10- 11am Tue- Sat- by appointment

United States Capitol
(Washington D.C.)

1st & 3rd strees, & Independence & Constitution Aves.
Tel. (202) 224- 3121
Bus: 32, 34, 36, 96
Open: 9am- 4:30pm Mon- Sat
Closed: federal hols.


National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.)

Constitution Ave between 4th and 7th sts
Tel. (202) 737- 4215
Bus: 32, 34, 36, 70
Open: 10am- 5pm Mon- Sat
11am- 6pm Sun
Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25 

Library of Congress (Washington D.C.)

1st Street
Tel. (202) 707- 5000
Bus: 32, 34, 36, 96
Open: 10am- 5:30pm Mon- Sat
Closed federal hols.

US Supreme Court
(Washington D.C.)
1st St between E Capitol St & Maryland Ave
Tel: (202) 479- 3000
Open: 9am- 4:30pm Mon- Sat
Closed: federal hols.

National Air & Space Museum (Washington D.C.)

601 Independence Ave
Tel (202) 633- 1000
Bus: 32, 34, 36, 52
Open: 10am- 5:30pm Mon- Sat
Closed: Dec 25






City layout
The city is split into four quadrants of unequal size, which radiate out from the Capitol Building: Northwest (NW), Northeast (NE), Southeast (SE), and Southwest (SW). The NW quadrant is by far the largest and SW the smallest. Addresses in the city always include the quadrant abbreviation, e.g., 1000 H Street NE. Take note of the quadrant, otherwise you may find yourself on the exact opposite side of town from your destination!

City streets are generally laid out in a grid, with east-west streets primarily named with letters (A–W) and north-south streets named with numbers. The street numbers and letters increase as the distance from the Capitol building increases. The numerous diagonal avenues, many named after states, serve as the city's principal arteries. The grid has a few peculiarities that are a legacy from the city's foundation. The City of Washington originally occupied only a portion of the total area of the District. As a result, outside of what is now often called the "L'Enfant City", streets do not strictly adhere to the grid system. However, you will find that many street names were simply extended where practical and, past the letter "W", for east-west streets, two-syllable street names (e.g., Irving Street, Lamont Street) follow the single-letter streets in alphabetical order, followed by three-syllable street names.

Visitors to Washington will quickly discover that there is no "J" St. This is because, until the mid-nineteenth century, the letters "I" and "J" were largely considered interchangeable. Following that same idea, "I" Street is often written as "Eye" Street, to distinguish it from the letter "L" and the numeral "1", and "Q" Street is often written "Que," "Cue," or "Queue."





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