Washington, DC: Gargoyles, and Darth Vader

Quirky USA versions of the usual freaks and monsters festoon Washington National Cathedral. Darth Vader was added in the 1980s after he was suggested by children. He's near the top of the northwest tower between two arches, but you'll need binoculars or a telephoto lens to see him.

Washington National Cathedral

Address:
3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC
Directions:
Washington National Cathedral. On the east side of Wisconsin Ave. NW just north of Massachusetts Ave. NW. Darth Vader is near the top of the northwest tower between two arches, but you'll need binoculars or a telephoto lens to see him.
Hours:
M-F 10 am - 5:30 pm, Sa 10 am -4:30 pm, Su 8 am - 6:30 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
202-537-6200
Admission:
Free.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Gargoyles, and Darth Vader

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Gargoyles, Washington National Cathedral

I got a guided tour with a walking group, that included a person with a tripod and zoom lens. A lot of the gargoyles and grotesques are up high, and the show better with a little shade, ie not noon light. Binoculars are helpful. Some near person level on the women's entrance to the cathedral on the side.

[Toby, 07/25/2014]

The Master Carver.

Gargoyles, Washington National Cathedral

The National Cathedral is the 6th largest cathedral in the world and likely to be the last Gothic cathedral ever built. It has 112 gargoyles (rain-diversion devices with a spout) and over 1,000 other grotesques (without a spout). When people think of gargoyles, most envision monsters and dragons and the like. Many of the National Cathedral gargoyles, on the contrary, are very whimsical and quirky. For example, the "Angelic and the Mischievous Grandsons" and "The Birdwatcher" were suggested by their respective donors. "The Master Carver" with a devil hoof and steam rising from his head is one of the stone carver's representation of the boss.

Angelic gargoyle gets into the cookie jar.

All 112 gargoyles can be seen here. They're arranged in just the right way to help visitors find the gargoyles while they walk around this beautiful building.

[Marv Solberg, 11/25/2007]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Big Green ChairBig Green Chair, Washington, DC - 1 mi.
Rock Beats Scissors: Mandela vs ChurchillRock Beats Scissors: Mandela vs Churchill, Washington, DC - < 1 mi.
Scary Staircase From Scary Staircase From "The Exorcist", Washington, DC - 2 mi.
In the region:
Big Hand Releasing Birds, Silver Spring, MD - 5 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

August 22, 2019

My Sights

My Sights

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

DC Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

American Museum of Science and Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee (Aug 19-25, 2019)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now