National World War II Memorial

Washington, D.C., United States

The World War II Memorial is dedicated to Americans who served in the armed forces and as civilians during World War II. Consisting of 56 pillars and a pair of small triumphal arches surrounding a plaza and fountain, it sits on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on the former site of the Rainbow Pool at the eastern end of the Reflecting Pool, between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The memorial was dedicated by President George W. Bush in 2004.

The Freedom Wall is on the west side of the memorial, with a view of the Reflecting Pool and Lincoln Memorial behind it. The wall has 4,048 gold stars, each representing 100 Americans who died in the war.

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Founded: 2004
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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

jill king (2 months ago)
Visiting on Memorial Day or Veterans Day is perfect time for Washington D.C. trip. Also in the Spring, when they have Cherry Blossom Festival. Cost of the sites we visited were free. So many sites were within walking distances. Good walking shoes is a must. Machine Parking Meters. Walked to Vietnam, Korean, Womens, WW II, Lincoln, Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr Memorial. All in 1 day. We decided to recreate a picnic from our past ( fried chicken, home made cucumber salad, hard boil eggs, chips and dip, fruits, snacks & drinks ). It was so enjoyable and stress free just having a picnic. We didn't have to leave and come back and fight for good parking spot again. Also saved money on food and time, trying to find a good restaurant for lunch. We parked next to the LAKE and after relaxation we continued our site seeing. I got to check off my bucket lists of A historical sites to visit. So many in 1 day. So worth your time. And take many pictures as u can.
G Aquino (2 months ago)
The average tourist would probably be underwhelmed seeing this memorial as it is dwarfed in grandeur and stature by the surrounding iconic structures such as the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. The place might hold more relevance for veterans and the friends and relatives of those who served and died in battle. The most noticeable structures are the tall plaques with the names of then US states and territories, including the now-independent Philippines.
Matthew Cotton (3 months ago)
This monument was awesome. Even with the government shutdown, it was beautiful. A great piece of American history that is remembered in a fashionable manner. Truly an architectural masterpiece. I recommend checking this monument out if you are in the DC area and have some free time; maybe you could even take some of your relatives who are vets!
Carla Filla (4 months ago)
We visited this memorial at night with a guide and I highly recommend that. He explained all the meaning behind the symbols used in the creation of the memorial. Additionally, he helped us understand how they made the memorial so that it wouldn't conflict with the landscape of the area. It was pretty fascinating! Fountains we're off though in winter.
Isaac Oguji (5 months ago)
It was a great time here. I loved what they did with the waters. Pretty a good way to relax and cool off your legs. Lots of people around makes it more fun. Best enjoyed in the evenings and public holidays. I love the cradle and there are great scenes and lovely views to have great photos. Better still, it's just opposite the Washington Monument.
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.