Although it looks unlikely, the land that is full of buildings and it’s the capital of US was once a swamp. Its strategic location with access to the Potomac River and enter the sea through the north and south make it an attractive place. Originally designed by French architect Pierre L’Enfant in 1791, Washington is a city with green parks, wide tree-lined streets and very few skyscrapers, which give the city a European air.
It is oriented towards satisfying the needs of a capital, a city with great buildings (such as the White House and US Capitol) and impressing monuments (Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial among others).
Congress and the second president, John Adams, moved to Washington DC in 1800, but 60 years passed until the city took on the appearance of a true city. The main political arena and the capital of the world’s most powerful nation, is a desirable place.
Washington DC is always in the spotlight. The city took part and political scandals such as the Watergate affair, Mayor Marion Barry to close involvement with drugs, Monica Lewinsky affair, the difficulties of the 2000 presidential elections and, more recently, the Bush administration’s allegations of CIA leaks in 2005.
The tragic events took place on September 11, 2001, when a second plane crashed into the Pentagon. Since then, barricades, blocked roads, police and security measures have given the city a new look.
Washington (DC or District for locals) is divided into four divisions – north-west, northeast, southeast and southwest. It is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own diverse culture.
Capitol Hill after the Capitol is a blend of government buildings, houses, shops and restaurants. Foggy Bottom, where there are also several government buildings, is a charming and quiet neighborhood. Perhaps the most famous place is Georgetown, the historic district with houses from the XVIII and XIX, where many influential people live. One of the most colorful neighborhoods is Adams Morgan, with an eclectic mix of international restaurants, cafes terraces, shops and ethnic themed nightly entertainment.
After the federal government, the city’s main industry is tourism. Over 15 million visitors each year exploring the city, they prefer autumn, spring and summer rather than winter.
Visitors are attracted by the impressive wealth of the museums and monuments, many of which have free admission. Other important industries include trade associations in the city, law firms, institutions of higher education and publishing activities. In the city there is the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Although rich in appearance, the city has had past problems with criminality, the high percentage of unemployment, illiteracy and drug abuse. In recent years the city has managed to solve some of these problems. Crime rate has dropped and the town was revitalized. It is now chic to live in Washington, where power politics and form an astonishing mixture. Furthermore, there exists a wealth of monuments, public buildings, museums and memorials of the heroes of the past.