Thursday, November 3, 2011

Alexandria, Virginia - George Washington National Masonic Memorial

Besides researching the many members of my large family, a favorite pastime of mine is travel: any city, any country, any continent.  But when I really want to get away and relax, the place I love is Alexandria, Virginia. My husband and I enjoy the combination of history, culture and restaurants in Old Town Alexandria and its closeness to our nation’s capital for the same.  Alexandria is located on the Potomac River, right across the newly renovated Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge from our hometown. 

When in Alexandria, we rent an apartment located near the “top” of King Street, the main drag through Old Town.  A quick view to the right when we exit the apartment is always the George Washington National Masonic Memorial.  That’s a mouthful of a name for what most refer to as the Washington Masonic Temple.   

I captured this photo of the building, which sits on Shooter’s Hill at Callahan Drive, near King Street, in Fall of 2002.  The Masonic symbol on the lawn -- the Square and Compass - is made of conrete.

The building’s interior is beautiful, and tours are available.  The structure serves as a Masonic building as well as a memorial to George Washington, first President of the United States.  George was a Mason, among many other things.   In addition, the memorial serves as a research center.  Their Masonic Digital Archives project is working with participating lodges to digitize their histories.  With the completion of this project, the Masons hope to make their history, which dates to 1733, available online. 

What's your favorite place to combine history and relaxation?

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