parks/gardens

Franciscan Monastery catacombs and garden

You don't need to leave Washington to visit the Holy Land. The Franciscan Monastery near Catholic University has been a pilgrimage destination since the early 20th century. You can tour the church (with catacombs) and also visit the replicas of sites from the Holy Land in the monastery garden.

When you come onto the Monastery grounds, take the left-hand walkway look for the sign for "Visitors Entrance." Enter there, and follow the hallway to the left. You will end up in the Tour Lobby. To visit the catacombs, you must join a tour, which will last about an hour. The last tour of the day is at 3 p.m. The monastery requests a donation of $2, which you can place in a box at the end of the tour.

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You do not need to join a tour if you just want to look around the church and enjoy the gardens, which include replicas of several Holy Land sites and the Grotto of Lourdes. 

The monastery is located at 1400 Quincy Street, NE, Washington, DC, a ten-minute walk from Brookland/CUA Metro Station. There is a parking lot, as well as on-street parking in the neighborhood.

A map of the monastery church and grounds is available in PDF format by clicking here

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National Museum of the American Indian grounds

The grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian abound with special places created with sacred intention, including four boulders transported from the four cardinal points of the Western Hemisphere and placed in corresponding positions around the museum. The quiet space pictured below, on the north side of the museum, is adjacent to a pond that has developed its own ecosystem, just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. At dusk, you may be lucky enough to see the family of ducklings making their way toward dinner. 

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Also worth seeing (besides the museum artifacts themselves), the Potomac Rotunda on the ground floor of the museum is frequently used as ceremonial space.


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Georgetown Waterfront Park labyrinth

There's a labyrinth in Georgetown? Overlooking the river? With fabulous views? Yes! Yes! Yes! Few people seem to know that the section of Georgetown Waterfront Park at the foot of 33rd Street has a beautiful labyrinth, funded in part by the TKF Foundation. This labyrinth is open sunrise to sunset. Its wide paths invite strollers, wheelchairs, and walkers (as well as skateboards and bicycles).

Some have called the spirit of this labyrinth exuberant, in contrast to the meditative mood of most other labyrinths. 

 


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