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Smithsonian Castle

Smithsonian Institution Building

More commonly known as “The Castle”, this red standstone building stands out among the rest. Completed in 1855, this building was once completely isolated from downtown Washington, D.C. due to a canal running between them. Ironically, today it is considered the heart of the National Mall, situated nearly in the center of the Lincoln Memorial to the east and the Capitol Building to the west. 

The Smithsonian Institution was established in the mid-1800s with the purpose of increasing and sharing knowledge. From then, the institute has expanded into 19 museums, 9 research centers, zoos, and owns over 130 million artifacts. You see why the institute was given the nickname, “the nation’s attic”!

Today, the Castle is home to the administrative offices and the information center for the Smithsonian Institute and remains a symbol of the efforts to both restore the history of the United States and share it with the nation.

Smithsonian Castle

Practical Information

Open daily 8:30am-5:30pm

Metro Station: Smithsonian (Mall exit)


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