The best thing about really large cities is that no matter how long you’ve lived in them, you can still find surprising things about them. When it comes to the US capital, many might feel like they know a lot about it even without having visited the city, because it is a popular tourist destination and many of its attractions are known worldwide. But Washington, like any other city, has its secrets, and sometimes not even the biggest local history buff is aware of them. So if you are planning to visit Washington DC, or you just like to know random interesting facts about cities, here are 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about Washington.
1. Washington DC is very rainy
DC averages 39 inches of rainfall every year, which is more than Seattle, and that says a lot.
2. The home of the football huddle
The first time football players huddled at the beginning of the game was in the 10th century at Gallaudet University, whose team wanted to hide their strategy from the oponents.
3. Presidents usually don’t live in DC after their office ends
Except for Woodrow Wilson, the only former president so far who stayed in DC. You can visit his house, which was turned into a museum.
4. The tallest monument is illegally tall
In Washington, buildings can’t be higher than 165 feet. The monument, however, is 555 feet tall, taller than any other structure in the city.
5. Has a da Vinci painting
The only Leonardo da Vinci painting in the western hemisphere is located in the National Gallery. The painting depicts Florentine aristocrat Ginevra de’ Benci and it’s one of the most famous paintings of da Vinci.
6. Washington is multicultural
15% of all Washington DC residents have a native language other than English.
7. No skyscrapers allowed
Although legend says that there are no true skyscrapers in DC because no building is allowed to be taller than Capitol Building, actually the fire department put a limit to buildings heights in 1894 because their equipment could not reach higher than 110 feet.
8. Washington is walkable
Although DC is pretty large, in 2007 it was voted the most walkable city in the US according to a survey conducted by the Brookings Institution.
9. Lawyers and lobbyists
In DC, there’s a lawyer for every 19 residents, and there are 74 lobbyists for every US senator!
10. The people of Washington love their wine
More wine is drunk per person in Washington DC than in any other state in the US.
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