Washington’s Bells

Suspended above the streets of our capital, the history of our nation is written in bronze. We're compiling the fascinating histories, oral traditions, and lasting legacies of bells in D.C. If you know about one of Washington's bells, share your story with us!

Washington’s Bells: Georgetown Lutheran Church

The first concept of a Lutheran church along the banks of the Potomac began in the early 18th century, when a group of Lutherans from Germany, having settled in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, migrated to the Potomac Valley. They were enticed by an offer of land from George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore. With them they brought their religion, and a sprinkling of itinerant pastors ministered to these settlers from as early as 1733.

Washington’s Bells: Washington National Cathedral

Many exemplary structures rise from the skyline when surveying the cityscape of Washington, D.C., but dominating the hills of upper Northwest sits a neo-gothic masterpiece: The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, or more commonly known to you and me, Washington National Cathedral. Stained-glass windows of richly vivid colors, austere gothic spires, and dramatic flying buttresses create a centuries-old Continental feel that masks its modern construction.

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