This past Sunday, I finally went returned to Valley Forge to photograph Washington Chapel and the tower standing next to it. For anyone who has not yet visited the chapel and tower, both are full of intricate architectural detail. Many details represent the history of the structures as well as honor our first president and the descendants of his army.
Exploring the structures was like taking a walk back in time to a few different historical eras, from medieval to Victorian Gothic Europe. That is just what I love about visiting historic sites…how they connect you with another place and time long ago. You can almost picture yourself being back in those eras as you are surrounded by old world architecture and the history being depicted.
As soon as I saw this door, a feature of the tower and seeming straight out of a medieval castle, I had to take some photos. It is not hard to imagine people dressed in medieval attire walking in and out, or past, a door such as this. Aside from not actually standing at the door of an actual medieval castle somewhere in Europe, that is.
Down a hall from the medieval door, there is a small room containing the Justice Bell and a number of surprises to go with it. Entering from the direction of the hall, you are face-to-face with fundraising efforts to maintain the tower. It might not make for a great photo; however, the protection, restoration and maintaining of historic sites are no doubt of great importance to me.
The surprise in the bell room came from looking straight upwards; the stars-and-stripes decorated ceiling with a tribute to the Daughters of the American Revolution.
There were also these two details on the wall above the hall entrance to the bell room; a well-made mosaic of Washington and a beautiful stained glass window.
The staircase leading up into the heights of the tower didn’t cross my mind until a small door opened and several visitors poured out. A warning sign accompanying the very steep, narrow winding staircase then came into view. I only went up a few steps to take the photos looking up into the staircase; not sure I would be comfortable climbing the distance in such a tight space.
I took a large number of photos of both the tower and the chapel. So I am stopping here for now, deciding to make this into two-parts about my most recent visit to the area of Valley Forge National Historic Park. This focused on the tower and its interior details, so the second part will focus on the chapel.