Join us for a Tour of Washington National Cathedral’s Bell Tower with Edward Nassor, the Cathedral Carillonneur, followed by lunch at area restaurants to talk all things genre and world-building.

The Tower Climb – The ultimate destination of this tour is the climb to the ringing chamber, 333 steps high in the Cathedral’s central tower. From here, visitors will find the best possible view of Washington, DC. The climb includes multiple views inside the Cathedral itself, up-close views of stained glass, and access to some of the Cathedral’s oldest stairs. The Cathedral’s Kibbey Carillon is the third heaviest in the world. The smallest bell of the carillon weighs 17 pounds. The largest weighs over 12 tons, and measures eight feet, eight inches in diameter.

Please note: The bells are very loud, so please don’t sign up if you are sensitive to sound. Also, those with a fear of heights or enclosed spaces should not participate; stairs include both enclosed stone staircases and also open metal, spiral stairs. Please dress appropriately for the weather, as the weather conditions are more extreme than at ground level. The tower climb is a rigorous activity. Wear sturdy shoes and casual, weather-appropriate clothing. (This section of the tower is open to the weather.)

Event Address:  Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, WDC 20016
The Cathedral is located at the corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues in northwest Washington, D.C., on a piece of land known as Mount St. Alban.

Cost: $10 per person (This is a major discount – this tour usually runs $40 per person.) Click here to register.

Open to WRW members only.

Tour Date:  October 24, 2015

Tour Start Time: 11:45 AM   Meet in front of the Cathedral by the glass elevator box near the parking garage. Tour starts at NOON. You must arrive on time. Latecomers will not be able to catch up with the group.

Tour End Time: 1:00 PM

Lunch at area restaurants around 1:30 PM.  (Lunch cost not included in tour fee.) After the tour, we’ll gather again at the glass elevator box. If folks who can’t make the tour want to join us, meet us there by 1:15. Email Keely at to let her know to expect you. We’ll walk up the street to a cluster of restaurants (Tex-Mex, American cuisine, pizza, tapas, sandwiches – lots to choose from).

Click here to register.

Parking:  Parking in the Cathedral garage is $9 flat fee on Saturdays. Parking on Wisconsin Avenue is permit free on Saturdays. There may also be spots available on the Cathedral’s surface streets.

Driving Directions

From downtown Washington
Take Massachusetts Avenue north to Wisconsin Avenue. Turn right onto Wisconsin Avenue. The Cathedral is on your immediate right.

From Maryland and the north
Take I-95 to I-495 west, the Capital Beltway. Exit south on Wisconsin Avenue. The Cathedral is approximately 6 1/2 miles on your left.

From Virginia and the south
Take I-495 over the American Legion Bridge into Maryland and take the Wisconsin Avenue/Bethesda exit. The Cathedral is approximately 6 1/2 miles on your left.

From Virginia and the south (alternative)
Take the Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial, bearing right onto Rock Creek Parkway. (Note: Rock Creek Parkway is one way south bound during morning rush hour; buses cannot exit on Massachusetts Avenue.) Follow Rock Creek Parkway to Massachusetts Avenue, turning left onto Massachusetts Avenue. Then follow directions “From downtown” as above.

Metro Directions

From Tenleytown
Take the Metro Red Line to the Tenleytown/AU station. Exit on the west side of Wisconsin Avenue. Take any 30 series bus (31, 32, 36, or 37) going south on Wisconsin Avenue. Ride approximately 1 1/2 miles until you reach Woodley Road; the Cathedral is on your left. (This is a downhill walk, if you prefer to walk.)

From Dupont Circle
Take the N2, N3, N4, or N6 bus until you reach the corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues. Walk north on Wisconsin 1/2 block to the Cathedral.

From Woodley Park
Take a 96, 97, or X3 bus toward McLean Gardens. Get off the bus at the corner of Woodley Road and Wisconsin Avenue. The Cathedral is on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue.


About Our Presenter

Edward M. Nassor is the fourth Cathedral Carillonneur at Washington National Cathedral. He joined the music department at the Cathedral in 1990, where his duties include performing preludes before Sunday Holy Eucharist and Saturday afternoon recitals on the Bessie J. Kibbey carillon. While working on his doctoral degree, he became the first American to be awarded a Fulbright grant to study carillon in the Netherlands. He has performed in over fifty towers throughout Belgium, Denmark, France, Holland and Germany. He is a thirty-year member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. Dr. Nassor was invited by the Speaker of the Canadian House of Parliament to perform on the carillon at the Peace Tower at the House of Parliament in Ottawa during the Canadian Tulip Festival in May 2007, as part of a cultural exchange between Canada and the Cathedral.

For some history and details on the carillon, go to

Questions? Email