Netherlands Carillon Rings Out Over DC

Netherlands Carillon Rings Out Over DC

Located on the Virginia shore of the Potomac River, opposite the District of Columbia and bordering the northern end of Arlington National Cemetery, the Netherlands Carillon is adjacent to the Unites States Marine Corps War Memorial. The site is park of the National Park System.

Netherlands carillon washington dcSet among thousands of tulips in a park setting, the 127-foot high tower was a gift to the American people from the Dutch.  It was a symbol of friendship characterized by a common allegiance to the principles of freedom, justice, and democracy that has weathered temporary differences.  The bell carillon was originally installed in a temporary tower in 1954, and was then moved to its current location in 1960.  It was officially dedicated on May 5th, 1960, the anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands from the Nazis, meaning the 50th anniversary is nearly upon us.

The carillon originally contained 49 bells.  On May 5th, 1995, the 50th anniversary of the liberation, a 50th bell was added.  The largest bell measures nearly 7-foot in diameter and weighs 12,264 pounds.  The smallest bell is eight inches in diameter and weighs 35 pounds.  The bells are programmed to play automatically by computer, striking the hour daily between 10 am and 6 pm.  In addition, special programs and concerts are also held.

Two bronze lions guard the plaza steps of the carillon, and a staircase leads up to an observatory platform.  From the observatory platform, a small circular staircase winds up to the glass enclosed bell cabin, which is 83 feet above the ground.  You can climb up the tower.

Plan a picnic and enjoy the beautiful gardens surround the bell carillon.  When the tulips are in bloom it is especially pretty.  This is a family friendly space, and it’s okay to play on the grass.  In fact, this makes a perfect spot for the kids to burn off a little energy while the adults spread out for a few restful moments, or just sit and enjoy the weather and a little people watching.  The spot provides a great view of DC’s monuments, and if you linger on into dusk you can enjoy the spectacular view of the city as the lights of the monuments and city come on.

Photo credit:  wikimedia

Tags: ,

Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.


  1. Tweets that mention Netherlands Carillon Rings Out Over DC | Traveling with MJ -- - March 28, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by raveable. raveable said: [Featured] Netherlands Carillon Rings Out Over DC; by @flyawaycafe #travel #family #DC […]

Leave a Reply

It’s My Blog Anniversary!

On March 17, 2006, I wrote my first blog post ever on my travel blog then named Flyaway Cafe. You […]

Visiting the Ruins of Pompeii: From Tragedy to Tourism

The ruins of Pompeii are a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The ruins of Pompeii have become one of Italy’s most visited sites. On August 24th, 79 A.D., erupted in a […]

You’ll Never Want to Leave: Hilton Union Square, San Francisco

It seems like everyone thinks about romance in February, but once Valentine’s Day passes, romance gets short shrift. One way […]

You’ll Never Want to Leave: Pantai Inn, La Jolla

For much of the northern hemisphere, January is winter and with it, the cold – often brutally cold – rain, […]