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Smithsonian Castle (or Smithsonian Institution Building)

The Castle The Castle Photo: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo via Flickr

Heading to the U.S.A? Most likely you will be visiting Washington D.C., the capital. There are a good number of spots to tour here. Out of them, we’ll explore Smithsonian Castle (or Smithsonian Institution Building), one of the popular spots in Washington D.C.

The interesting fact about this spot is the Smithsonian Institution’s administrative offices and information center is housed in this Castle. Also, it’s the first Smithsonian building and is made of Seneca red sandstone in Victorian Style. British scientist James Smithson left his wealth to his nephew who died childless and thus under Smithson’s will, the estate passed to USA, to be found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution.

It is actually a very famous museum and research complex, and is a collection of 19 different museums, 9 research centers and the National Zoo. It is also known as America’s treasure chest as it possesses varied artifacts.

A point worth noticing is that it is centrally located on the National Mall, and if you have any confusion about where to start touring 10 different museums on different subjects (known as Smithsonian museums), I tell you this would be an ideal place.

Now let us go further. You want to start touring the museums? Sure, but wouldn’t it be nice if you get to look at the museum beforehand in the digital format? The Institution has thought of that well in advance. Thus, if you want to view the museum & also explore about other Washington D.C. attractions before making up your mind about the destinations you want to visit, you can watch a 24-minute video. You can also watch two electronic maps of Washington D.C. and two big models of the National Mall. Don’t worry if you can’t plan out the journey and get confused about your touring schedule. For your convenience, there are volunteers who would be ready to provide you with free maps and best of all, plan your trip.

If you take my suggestion, tour the most visited Smithsonian Museums i.e. Natural History Museum, Air and Space Museum, American History Museum and the National Zoo. Don’t forget to check out the exotic animal attractions like Asia Trail (giant pandas in it), sea lions, cheetahs and giraffes at the National Zoo.


Open daily 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Address/Map:  1000 Jefferson Drive Southwest Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 633-1000
Website: Plan your visit to The Castle