JEFFERSON MEMORIAL, Jefferson Memorial

Audio File length: 2.34
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hello, my name’s Rick, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to one of the wonders of the world, the Jefferson Memorial.


This mausoleum is dedicated to the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States and considered to be the main writer behind the famous Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson was actually a key player in the rebellion that involved the 13 American colonies against England, which led to the United States of America being founded after a bloody war.


The mausoleum lies on the bank of the Potomac River, in the middle of a garden filled with cherry trees given by the Japanese government. It is made up of a round marble staircase, a circular portico with Ionic columns topped by a shallow dome and a traditional portico on the front. The triangular pediment features a bas relief of the five founding fathers who submitted the Declaration of Independence to Congress.


Inside you can see the bronze statue of Jefferson, standing 5.8 meters tall, which is the work of the sculptor Rudolph Evans. The sentence inscribed below is from one of Jefferson's letters: I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

The various panels on the walls bear extracts from his other writings. The monument was commissioned by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and inaugurated by the American President on April 13, 1943, two hundred years after Jefferson’s death.


The building was designed by the American architect John Russell Pope, who also designed the West Building of the National Gallery, drawing inspiration from both the Pantheon in Rome and the Rotunda, a building in Virginia that also features a circular shape and a colonnade portico, which was designed by Thomas Jefferson himself according to the Palladian style.

In fact, the President was an architect and contributed to Pierre L’Enfant’s original project for the City of Washington, mainly using his expertise concerning the regulatory plans of London and Paris.


I’ll leave you with an interesting fact: Thomas Jefferson was a refined intellectual–to whom we also owe the founding of the University of Virginia, for which he was the Rector for many years–and he also devoted himself to inventing everyday objects. You've definitely used one of them as well, as we’ve all sat on a swiveling office chair…. That’s right, he invented it.

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