LINCOLN MEMORIAL, Presentation

Audio File length: 2.30
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 Lincoln Memorial.

 

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, and is remembered for prompting the American Civil War, which led to the abolition of slavery.

Inaugurated in 1922, the huge construction is inspired by the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. It is 58 meters wide, 31 meters deep and 30 meters high, and was designed by the architect Henry Bacon. The exterior is in exquisite Yule marble, a particularly bright variety quarried only in Colorado, and is decorated with 36 Doric columns, one for each American state at the time of Lincoln’s death. If you look closely, you’ll see that the names of the 36 states are engraved at the top of each column. The names of those added subsequently can be seen on the back wall, and there is a plate remembering the last two to become part of the USA, Alaska and Hawaii. If you look carefully at the columns and the walls, you’ll notice that they lean inwards, so as to avoid - as in the Greek temples - a distortion of the perspective that would have made the building broader at the top.

There are three huge chambers on the inside: engraved on the walls of the two side chambers are excerpts taken from some of the President’s speeches, while in the central chamber, open opposite you, there is nothing but the giant statue of Lincoln. Almost six meters tall, it was designed by Daniel Chester French and built over four years by the Piccirilli Brothers, a family of marble carvers originally from Massa Carrara in Italy. The statue portrays the President seated with an expression that shows all the weight of his power. It is one of the most popular icons of American democracy, so much so that it appears in about 80 movies.

The allure of the Memorial is further enhanced by the Reflecting Pool, 618 meters long and 51 meters wide, filled with 25,500,000 liters of water, in which the monument is reflected.

 

Finally, you might be interested to know that some people believe the face of General Lee is carved on the back of the statue, while others believe that the president’s hands are making sign language symbols of his initials "A" and "L". It is said that the sculptor wanted to honor Lincoln’s decision, as President, to allow universities for deaf and dumb students to award degrees.

 

 

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