The National Cathedral in Washington D.C. is the 6th largest cathedral in the world and likely to be the last Gothic cathedral ever built.

It is perched on the highest point in Washington D.C. and offers some splendid views of the city below.

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Most such buildings feature gargoyles and the National Cathedral is no exception: it has 112 gargoyles (rain-diversion devices with a spout) and over 1,000 other grotesques (without a spout). When people think of gargoyles, most envision monsters and dragons and the like but the Cathedral’s gargoyles offer some whimsical and quirky renditions — including a Darth Vader, whose idea was submitted by a kid in design-a-carving contest 🙂

Once in a while, the Cathedral offers a tour, high up in the eves of the place, to walk around the outside and find the many gargoyles hidden among its architecture. Below are some pictures I took of a few of the interesting gargoyles during one of these visits.

If you find yourself in D.C. during one of these tours, the visit is well worth your time.

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