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House of the Temple
Ranked #148 of 454 things to do in Washington DC
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 25 February 2013

There is a lot to see in DC and unless you are a big Dan Brown fan you might not know about this one. Even in a city with impressive monuments It's a spectacular building with an amazing history. The staff do a great job of doing an overview but call ahead to make sure someone is there to show you around, otherwise you won't be able to guess what it all means. The upstairs meeting room is unlike any other in the world. The Washingtom Monument was also built by Masons if that tells you anything.
There is no charge to visit but show a little class and buy a poster or something. Parking isn't good, and it isn't really near any other attractions so plan ahead.

Thank Jon K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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30 - 34 of 53 reviews

Reviewed 15 December 2012

It takes some walking to get to the House of the Temple from the Dupont Circle station but it's worth the walk! The architecture literally stops you in your tracks because it's so different from everything else around it! A pity though that there was no tours available that day I was there (apparently all the interns are away studying for exams)- so do call before you make your way there. But the security guard was really nice and allowed me to take photos around the main hall and later someone offered to bring me to the magnificent library so that my trip won't be wasted! Beautiful place to visit even it was just to see the architecture!

Thank haejina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2012

For months I've been trying to take a tour of the House of the Temple. Finally made it today and It is a beautiful building, so very steeped in Masonic history and so worth the trip.

There are many stairs to climb; however, the guides are sensitive to the visitors needs so we took the elevators. I highly recommend this stop to everyone.

1  Thank Jane D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2012

After reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, we decided to stop in for a visit of the House of the Temple. We were pleasantly greeted by the security guard who let us in and we were given an hour long tour of the building and its chambers. The Temple Chamber with its black marble altar was especially impressive. Well worth the detour.

Thank monsieur_r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2012

If you have read Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, you probably remember that many of the scenes took place here, and that masonic symbols are used throughout the book.

The building on 16th street -- a bit away from the mall but still very accessible, look for free street parking! -- is quite impressive and was designed by John Russell Pope who also designed the National Gallery of Art and Jefferson Memorial. It opened in 1915.

Symbolism is evident throughout the building from the 33 light bulbs in the lobby chandeliers to paintings explaining the aptitudes of each of the 33 degrees . Lots of brass, woodwork, paintings, stained glass, etc. revel in Masonic symbolism. It is a beautifully designed space, and I did learn some interesting facts about the Masons. Particularly enlightening was the exhibit highlighted many of the better known Masons and the fact that any religion is acceptable, as long as the adherents believe in a divine being.

Their website recommends that you take an early morning tour on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday (weekends are reserved for Masons themselves apparently). We had a very nice young woman as our guide. She initially talked very fast from a memorized script, but when we took our time and asked questions she relaxed some and was able to answer most of our questions. She said the tours do get crowded in the summer.

You get to see a lot of the building, including various meeting rooms and the magnificent library, which is open to the public and is devoted to Masonic history. Everything is discussed openly -- in fact this attitude of apparent transparency made some in our group wonder what they were hiding with their appearance of no secrets!

There is a small bookstore but apart from postcards would probably appeal only to Masons in the group.

2  Thank Alexandrian1026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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