Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle)

Row 1

1000 Jefferson Dr SW (btwn 9th & 12th St SW)
Washington, DC 20560
(202) 633-1000
History Museum
Mon–Sun: 8:30 AM–5:30 PM

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  • The Smithsonian Institution was founded for the "increase and diffusion" of knowledge from a bequest to the United States by the British scientist James Smithson, who had never visited the US himself.
  • Originally to be constructed of white marble like similar DC bldgs but too costly. Founder James Smithson's tomb moved here upon being retrieved by Alexander Graham Bell in 1904.Full history via<LINK>
  • Our guides at the visitors desk can help you plan your visit. See a sampling of what each museum has to offer in the Commons and then take off with our mobile app as your guide (
  • The worlds largest museum, The Smithsonian consists of 19 smaller museums and galleries and the National Zoo.
  • Has a room that shows you some artifacts from each surrounding Smithsonian Museum, so you can get a preview of each museum in case you're unsure of which one to visit first.
  • The staff is exceptionally friendly. Two points of interest: the tomb of the Institution's founder, and a gallery with sample exhibits.
  • Pablo makes a mean roast beef
  • Beautiful gardens to sit and read a book in the morning. Nice and peaceful, with some really quiet corners.
  • Check out the Hockey Team gear from "Miracle"!
  • Check out Smithsonians tomb while your inside.
  • Check out the giant bird-eating tarantula.
  • Check out the new Bioluminescence exhibit at the Ocean Hall. Way cool!
  • "Castle" built 1847-55 (James Renwick, architect); alterations by Adolph Cluss after 1865 fire; National Historic Landmark.
  • Check out the garden in the back.
  • Checkout Madeline Albrights collection of Pins at The Castle. Interesting stories associated with each one of them.
  • This is, obviously, a good starting point for the national mall. Friendly staff help you get your bearings, and there is free wifi to check email and stuff.
  • In love woth the architecture such a fabulous muisam.
  • Good place to stop for a bathroom break on the mall.
  • Fantastic place! You can see a photo of Yuri Gagarin's Space Suit on PlazaScience, the social network for people who likes science and photography
  • The gardens on the back are perfect for pictures!