21 Relatively Obscure Memorials to Visit in DC

Washington Monument Tour

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Washington DC is home to a range of historic monuments and spots that tourists love to checkout when they visit. There is often a place they leave out due to time constraints, but most visitors make sure to get the quintessential Washington Monument tour before leaving. That said, this city has a wealth of obscure memorials too for the avid wanderer to enjoy.

Albert Einstein Memorial

This is a huge bronze statue of the renowned scientist, placed on National Academy of Sciences campus. It was dedicated to him in 1979, which is the hundredth year from his birth.

Titanic Memorial

Unlike the side-stretched arms that captured the undying love of Jack and Rose, this monument erected in 1931 looks out over the water, commemorating the male passengers on the ship that sacrificed their lives so the women and children could escape in the lifeboats.

USS Maine Memorial

Accompanied by a strange history, this memorial remembers fallen American sailors around the Cuban coast. It was presented in 1928 to President Coolidge, but went missing for several decades when the US and Cuba harbored tense relations.

Van Ness Mausoleum

Located at Oak Hill Cemetery, this Greek revival structure carries the remains of the former mayor and his wife. Before being moved here, it fronted a Penn Quarter orphanage.

Samuel Hahnemann Memorial

A huge memorial set right in the middle of Scott Circle, the Samuel Hahnemann Memorial is a staunch dedication to the late father of homeopathy.

Temperance Fountain

This statue erected near the National Mall was intended as a way to inspire people to drink water and not liquor. Sadly, it stopped working a while back, but the gesture at least is to be appreciated.

Sonny Bono Memorial Park

Sonny Bono was good friends with developer Geary Simon when he was alive. This 800-square foot triangle was erected in his honor just south of Dupont Circle, and it has a chest containing some of the singer/politician’s prized possessions.

Bartholdi Fountain

Also called “The Fountain of Light and Water”, the Bartholdi fountain is more commonly known after its creator. This happens to be the same man that designed the Statue of Liberty.


The Armenian earthquake statue dubbed “Motherland” stands on the American Red Cross Headquarters’ North Lawn, and was set there as a gift recognizing its significant assistance in the 1988 earthquake crisis management in Armenia.

Victims of Communism Memorial

This has to be the single most controversial monument in the entire city. It may even surpass the yet-to-be-finished Eisenhower Memorial. The former actually incited the Ukrainians to build something similar of their own, called the “Museum of American Imperialism”.

Boy Scouts of America Memorial

Located at The Ellipse in Washington DC, the sculpture is a masterpiece by Donald De Lue. The cost of this statue was actually paid by the memorial.

Here I Stand

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This glass and steel figurine set up in Pentworth in commemoration of athlete and activist Paul Robeson, was designed by Allen Uzikee Nelson.

Bridge Tender’s House

This watchtower situated on the 14th Street Bridge was turned into an appealing mix of public art, following large scale redesigning in 2009.

Nuns of the Battlefield Monument

Relatively obscure enough to be right at home on this list, this bronze relief remembers the nuns that helped soldiers while the Civil War was at its height.

Zero Milestone

Basically a granite block with a compass on top, this memorial is considered the city and country road system’s symbolic center. It also sits right in front of the White House, although most people tend to miss it.

DC World War I Memorial

While in fact located close to the Lincoln memorial, this monument does get overlooked a lot. It is a dedication to DC residents, who gave their lives in the First World War; it is the earliest war memorial after the Washington Monument itself.

African American Civil War Memorial

This memorial is easy to find since they have a metro station named after it. You see it right after exiting onto 10th Street. This dedication of the colored troops of the civil war is definitely underappreciated.

The Court of Neptune

Part memorial and part public art, this beautiful statue depicts the Roman god of the seas seated fronting the Library of Congress.

The Extra Mile

An array of bronze medallions displayed in honor of those people that dedicated themselves to serving and helping others, this memorial holds space for future commemoration.

Emancipation Monument

This monument is a tribute to the Emancipation Proclamation made by President Lincoln, although the way the figures are positioned has been a source of controversy, even starting as easily as its dedication.

Dante Alighieri Statue

This is one of the more obscure statues placed in Meridian Hill Park, of the poet who wrote the Divine Comedy. It is close to the bust of President James Buchanan.

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