It’s no surprise to anyone that’s known me for a while I enjoy visiting chapels, churches, cathedrals and other places of worship Most were built by several generations over a lengthy span of time without the aid of modern construction equipment. This collective level of conviction and dedication is inspiring.
Washington Memorial Chapel is one of the most beautiful worship places I’ve visited in a long while. A Gothic Revival jewel-box, it was constructed by immigrant trades people using local materials. It is dedicated to George Washington who wintered in Valley Forge and pays homage to the importance of the French-American relationship that provided military assistance and financial support during the Revolutionary War. Celebrations of French music, wines and cuisine are held at the Chapel to pay tribute to this special relationship.
Architecturally WMC ticks all the boxes. It has vaulted passageways, wooden ceilings, Gothic stained glass windows and carved wood figurines. Filigreed woodwork decorates choir lofts and organ. Flags, painted crests and shields commemorate the people and places vital to the revolution. The thirteen original states are recognized in various forms of decoration. One could literally spend hours in this small chapel discovering symbolic design details relating to our country’s early history. If you’re ever in Philadelphia, I recommend a side trip to Valley Forge to visit the Washington Memorial Chapel.