Stroll Down the Lafayette Square in DC

Located directly across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, Lafayette Square in DC is an urban park built to celebrate the heroes of the Revolutionary War. Explore the shady groves and green spaces of this seven-acre public park, while visiting the statues of important men who helped make history during the revolution. Lafayette Square is a frequent site of protests and gatherings, due to its proximity to the White House; it's also a great spot to take a White House selfie.

The Statues

Aside from fountains and nice landscaping, the five statues located here are the main reason to visit. In the southwest corner of the park, you'll find the statue of General Comte de Rochambeau. He was the commander of the French army that fought alongside General Washington's Continental Army during the Revolution. This statue was erected in 1902, and was intended to help solidify the American relationship with France, following the Spanish-American War.

In the southeast corner of the park, you'll find the statue of the park's namesake: the Marquis de Lafayette. This Revolutionary War hero was something of a rarity, as it woul be hard to find another historical figure who featured so prominently in the revolutions of two countries. Lafayette rallied French support for the American Revolution and held senior positions in the Continental Army, then later returned to France and was instrumental in the revolution there. Because of this, he is sometimes referred to as "the hero of two worlds."

The northeast corner of the park contains a statue of Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko, a Polish engineer who served as a colonel in the Continental Army. Kościuszko was an accomplished military architect, and perhaps his greatest contribution to the war effort was the design and construction of several important pieces of military fortification, including those at West Point, New York. He was eventually promoted to brigadier general in recognition of his efforts.

In the northwest corner of Lafayette Square, you'll find the statue of Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, a German army officer who served as inspector general and major general of the Continental Army. He is considered one of the fathers of the Continental Army, in that he taught them the essential military skills of drills, tactics, and discipline. Von Steuben also served as George Washington's chief of staff during the final years of the war.

Finally, in the center of Lafayette Square in DC stands the equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson. It may seem a little out of place, considering the time period that the other statues are all honoring. However, it's a fine piece of work that has the distinction of being the first statue of a person on horseback that was ever made in the United States. It dates from 1853, and depicts Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans.

Nearby Attractions

Since Lafayette Square in DC isn't an hours-long visit for most people, you can combine it with a visit to some other attractions in the area. It's right next to the White House, of course, but also adjacent to other interesting sights such as the Old Executive Office Building, the Department of the Treasury, Renwick Gallery, and the Hay-Adams Hotel. You’ll find Layfayette Square at Pennsylvania Ave NW & 16th Street NW, Washington, DC.

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