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St. Aloysius Church.
St. Aloysius Church.
Photo via NCinDC

Mapping Irish churches, monuments, and memorials in D.C.

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St. Aloysius Church.
| Photo via NCinDC

Almost half of Washington, D.C.'s population in 1816 was Irish with the main wave of immigrants arriving during the Potato Famine in the late 1840s and early 1850s.

While settling into the nation's capitol, the Irish most populated three D.C. neighborhoods: Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, and Swampoodle. According to the USGen Web, the main Irish neighborhood in Washington, D.C. was below Bridge Street, now known as M Street. South of Bridge Street, Foggy Bottom contained more affordable housing and quickly became an Irish neighborhood, while some of the poorest Irishmen settled in the Swampoodle neighborhood, located near Union Station.

While Washington, D.C.'s Irish culture grew over the centuries, so too did the number of churches, monuments, and memorials constructed by or dedicated to them. From the 18th century Old St. Patrick's Church to the Embassy of Ireland, here are the 11 sites every Ireland descendant should visit.

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1. Holy Trinity Catholic Church

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3513 N St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 337-2840
This Catholic church was founded in 1787 and primarily served the Irish immigrants who populated the area.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Farragutful

2. St. Patrick Catholic Church

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619 10th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001
Founded in 1794, St. Patrick's Church is the oldest parish in Washington, D.C. The church was built to serve the needs of the Irish immigrants who worked on the White House and the Capitol building.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/AgnosticPreachersKid

3. St. Aloysius Church

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North Capitol & I Streets, NW
Washington, D.C.
Built in 1859, this Catholic Church catered to many of the Irish who lived in the Swampoodle neighborhood.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/AgnosticPreachersKid

4. Arsenal Memorial

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18th Street Northwest & E Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20240
This memorial was built around 1865 to honor 19 Irish girls who were killed by an explosion at the U.S. Arsenal during the Civil War.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Smallbones

5. Commodore John Barry Monument

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1332 I St NW
Washington, DC 20005
This Irish-born Naval officer is known as the Father of the American Navy. He served as an officer during the American Revolutionary War.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Slowking4

6. Robert Emmet Statue

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Massachusetts Avenue Northwest & 24th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20008
Robert Emmet was an Irish Nationalist who lived from 1778 to 1865. The statue was erected in 1966 for the 50th anniversary of Ireland's independence.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/AgnosticPreachersKid

7. Nuns of the Battlefield Monument

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Rhode Island Avenue Northwest & M Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20036
This monument was designed by Irish artist Jerome Connor. It serves as a tribute to over 600 nuns who nursed soldiers during the American Civil War.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Library of Congress

8. James Hoban Monument

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1300 Bladensburg Road Northeast
Washington, DC 20002
Located in the Mount Olivet Cemetery stands the James Hoban Monument. Hoban was an Irish-born architect who commissioned many Irish to work on the construction of the White House.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Lobo

9. General Philip H. Sheridan Monument

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Massachusetts Avenue Northwest & R Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20008
Irish-born Philip Sheridan served in the American Civil War before later becoming General of the Army, the second highest rank in the U.S. Army. The monument is located in the center of Sheridan Circle NW.
Photo via Tim Evanson

10. Embassy Of Ireland

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2234 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 462-3939
According to the Irish Embassy's website, this embassy works to promote Irish interests in the United States of America.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Loren

11. Basilica of the National Shrine

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400 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20017
(202) 526-8300
Visit Website
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Catholic church in the U.S., the tallest habitable building in Washington, D.C., and the eighth largest church building in the world. Inside the church, visitors will find a statue of Mary Queen of Ireland, surrounded by green marble walls with mosaic images and carvings meant to reflect the Irish heritage and Catholic faith. Behind the statue, visitors will find a Celtic cross.
A basilica seen from close-up. It has a tall set of stairs and a tower. Photo via Shutterstock/Jon Bilous

1. Holy Trinity Catholic Church

3513 N St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Farragutful
This Catholic church was founded in 1787 and primarily served the Irish immigrants who populated the area.
3513 N St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

2. St. Patrick Catholic Church

619 10th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/AgnosticPreachersKid
Founded in 1794, St. Patrick's Church is the oldest parish in Washington, D.C. The church was built to serve the needs of the Irish immigrants who worked on the White House and the Capitol building.
619 10th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

3. St. Aloysius Church

North Capitol & I Streets, NW, Washington, D.C.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/AgnosticPreachersKid
Built in 1859, this Catholic Church catered to many of the Irish who lived in the Swampoodle neighborhood.
North Capitol & I Streets, NW
Washington, D.C.

4. Arsenal Memorial

18th Street Northwest & E Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20240
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Smallbones
This memorial was built around 1865 to honor 19 Irish girls who were killed by an explosion at the U.S. Arsenal during the Civil War.
18th Street Northwest & E Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20240

5. Commodore John Barry Monument

1332 I St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Slowking4
This Irish-born Naval officer is known as the Father of the American Navy. He served as an officer during the American Revolutionary War.
1332 I St NW
Washington, DC 20005

6. Robert Emmet Statue

Massachusetts Avenue Northwest & 24th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20008
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/AgnosticPreachersKid
Robert Emmet was an Irish Nationalist who lived from 1778 to 1865. The statue was erected in 1966 for the 50th anniversary of Ireland's independence.
Massachusetts Avenue Northwest & 24th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20008

7. Nuns of the Battlefield Monument

Rhode Island Avenue Northwest & M Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20036
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Library of Congress
This monument was designed by Irish artist Jerome Connor. It serves as a tribute to over 600 nuns who nursed soldiers during the American Civil War.
Rhode Island Avenue Northwest & M Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20036

8. James Hoban Monument

1300 Bladensburg Road Northeast, Washington, DC 20002
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Lobo
Located in the Mount Olivet Cemetery stands the James Hoban Monument. Hoban was an Irish-born architect who commissioned many Irish to work on the construction of the White House.
1300 Bladensburg Road Northeast
Washington, DC 20002

9. General Philip H. Sheridan Monument

Massachusetts Avenue Northwest & R Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20008
Photo via Tim Evanson
Irish-born Philip Sheridan served in the American Civil War before later becoming General of the Army, the second highest rank in the U.S. Army. The monument is located in the center of Sheridan Circle NW.
Massachusetts Avenue Northwest & R Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20008

10. Embassy Of Ireland

2234 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Loren
According to the Irish Embassy's website, this embassy works to promote Irish interests in the United States of America.
2234 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

11. Basilica of the National Shrine

400 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20017
A basilica seen from close-up. It has a tall set of stairs and a tower. Photo via Shutterstock/Jon Bilous
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Catholic church in the U.S., the tallest habitable building in Washington, D.C., and the eighth largest church building in the world. Inside the church, visitors will find a statue of Mary Queen of Ireland, surrounded by green marble walls with mosaic images and carvings meant to reflect the Irish heritage and Catholic faith. Behind the statue, visitors will find a Celtic cross.
400 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20017