July 3, 2015

Franciscan Monastery

While in DC, my uncle wanted us to see some religious homes of worship, and being that my mom and I had seen so many awesome cathedrals in England (here and here) last summer, I was interested to see what DC had to offer. I feel like the architecture of religious houses is always very neat.

Our first stop was the Franciscan Monastery. It was built in the late 1800s. What I liked a lot was the inside of the church; there are a ton of replicas of old religious artifacts, which helps visitors better understand the world during Jesus' time. The most interesting replica, in my opinion, was the replica of Jesus' tomb. It's very cool how they were able to reconstruct these things and allow those of us visiting DC a chance to feel a little closer to the other side of the world.


After exploring the inside of the church we wandered around the gardens. But I've got to say, though, I was a little disappointed by the gardens. It's possible that the bad rainstorm we'd had the night before coupled with springtime ending and a lot of plants and flowers being about of bloom were a major factor, but I just felt like the gardens weren't as well maintained as I thought they could have been.

Tips for visiting the Franciscan Monastery

Grab a brochure. I didn't realize what everything was inside the church until I read the brochure and used it as a guide. You could miss out on some interesting things if you have no idea what you're looking at.

Don't worry about spending too much time in the gardens. I do think you should take a chance to wander around them, but I wouldn't worry about allotting a ton of time. And on that note, it might be better to plan your visit in the springtime so that the flowers are in bloom. As a bonus, you'd also be in DC during cherry blossom season in the spring, which I've heard is a beautiful sight to see.

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