Christ Church

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118 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA, USA

Christ Church Alexandria Reviews

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112 reviews
Christ Church Oct 06, 2012
Christ Church opened in 1773 as the tallest building in Alexandria. George Washington and his family had a box which the still active Episcopal congregation maintains in its original state (the friendly docent took my photograph in George's seat). Robert E. Lee was baptized here as well, his signature still inscribed on the metal plate outside the Lee family pew. While many other churches in the area were ransacked by Union soldiers when Alexandria was taken over in 1861, Abraham Lincoln personally ordered the sparing of Christ Church due to its connections to the first president. In 1941 Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill attended services here.

The architect James Wren designed Christ Church along with nearby Pohick Church and the Falls Church, all built within a decade of each other and all still standing. The graveyard contains a mass grave for Confederate prisoners who died in Alexandria's wartime hospitals, while several tombstones were taken by Union troops who used them to provide heat on cold nights (apparently tombstones burn very slowly).

The church is a must see for anyone interested in the history of Old Town. There is usually a volunteer docent to greet visitors, but the first time I stopped by no one was present and the church was locked up. You might want to call to find out if it will be open if you plan to visit. Street parking is limited, but the church is a short walk from King Street and the free King Street shuttle that runs continuously from the waterfront to the Metro station.
Christ Church in Old Town Alexandr…
George Washington's family box
The pulpit and Ten Commandments
Facing the pulpit
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