The Netherlands Carillon

The Netherlands Carillon

The daffodils are long gone, and the magnolia blossoms are mostly gone until next year too.  The cherry trees have already peeked, and although there are a few blooming trees remaining they are getting more and more difficult to find.  But there is still a lot of color to be found. After my recent ride to The National Park Service’s Floral Library I was inspired to seek out more spring flowers on this ride.  I found what I was looking for at the Netherlands Carillon.

Adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery and near the United States Marine Corps War Memorial, the Netherlands Carillon is located near the intersection of North Marshall Drive and North Meade Street in Arlington (MAP).  It is in Arlington Ridge Park and administered by the National Park Service as part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway complex.

The Netherlands Carillon was a gift from the people of the Netherlands to the people of the United States in 1954, given to thank the United States for its defense and aid during and after World War II.

The carillon’s bell tower is an open steel structure and is approximately 131 feet tall.  It contains 50 bells which combined weigh almost 31 tons.  A staircase leads to a glass-enclosed observatory platform and playing console about 82 feet from the ground.  The carillon plays Westminster Chimes on the hour and plays American patriotic music twice daily.  Special songs are played on May 5 (Dutch Liberation Day),on July 4 (Independence Day), on September 2 (V-J Day), and on Thanksgiving Day.  Other concerts and recitals are also performed on the carillon throughout the summer.

Tulips bloom from early April to the first week of May in the D.C. area, and the grounds of the Netherlands Carillon are particularly beautiful at this time, but a bike ride to the Netherlands Carillon is worthwhile at any time of the year.

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  1. One of my favorite locations when the moon is coming up in just the right location. But it also looks great when that flower bed is blooming. Thanks!


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