The Lost Symbol places
On this page you can learn more about the places, which are being mentioned in the book. Beneath the description of the places there are links to websites with further information, ticket bookings etc.
Robert Langdon always begins his day swimming fifty laps in the Harvard Pool, also known as the Blodgett Pool, named for John W. Blodgett, Jr. '32, who donated the money necessary for the initial planning and construction. It is considered one of the finest swimming and diving facilities in the USA with seating for 1.200 spectators and accommodation for 500 participants in sport events. Built out of brick-faced concrete in 1977 at a cost of $4 million, Blodgett Pool is used for men's and women's swim team practice, intercollegiate swimming competition, intramural and leisure swimming, and organized instruction. It is located next to Briggs Cage at the northeast corner of the Soldiers' Field complex, at the corner of North Harvard Street and Soldiers' Field Road. It was designed by The Architects Collaborative Inc. of Cambridge and constructed by the Turner Company and the Whitten Corporation.
Link to Harvard University. Here you can get information about the university.
Robert Langdon is being picked up at the private air terminal at Boston´s Logan Airport.
Link to Boston´s Logan Airport.
He is taken to Washington DC by a Falcon 2000EX private jet, apparently owned by Peter Solomon.
House of the Temple, 1733, Sixteenth Street NW:
The address is mentioned right in the beginning of the book and is a monumental building in Washington DC which has been the national headquarters of the Masonic Supreme Council since 1915. The building started in 1911 and was completed in 1915. Its architecture is an adaptation of the famous Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.”
The architect of the House of the Temple was John Russell Pope. Pope is well known for his other works in the District of Columbia, including the National Gallery of Art, National Archives and the Jefferson Memorial. The House of the Temple was his first major commission in the District of Columbia.
Link to Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite. Here you will find more information about The House of the Temple which has been open to the public for guided tours since the opening in 1915.
Dulles International Airport:
The private jet takes Robert Langdon to Dulles International Airport, situated 26 miles from downtown Washington DC.
Link to Dulles International Airport.
Robert is being picked up by a limousine service at the airport and is taken to the Capitol building where he has been asked to give a lecture about the Masonic history of the building. He spends the 30 minutes of driving reviewing his note cards for the evening´s event when he looks up and sees that they are already crossing Memorial Bridge.
According to Homeland Security the limousine cannot get any nearer the United States Capitol building than First Street, a quarter of a mile away. No vehicles are allowed near landmark buildings since 9 - 11.
United States Capitol:
The building is the meeting place of the United States Congress. It is located on top of Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the national Mall. The Capitol is the origin by which the quadrants of the District of Columbia are divided. Each district is delineated by their ordinal directions from the medallion located in the crypt under the Rotunda of the Capitol. The US Capitol is not located in the geographic center of the territory which means that the quadrants are of varying sizes. The Capitol building measures 750 x 350 feet and has 541 rooms.
Langdon thinks about the building being a treasure trove of bizarre arcana that includes a killer bathtub responsible for the murder of Vice President Henry Wilson, a staircase with a permanent bloodstain over which a number of guests seemed to trip, and a sealed basement chamber in which workers in 1930 discovered General John Alexander Logan´s long-deceased stuffed horse. There are claims of thirteen different ghosts that haunt the building. The spirit of city designer Pierre L´Enfant is reported wandering the halls seeking payment of a long overdue bill. The ghost of a worker who fell from the Capitol Dome during construction has been seen wandering the corridors with a tray of tools. And the most famous apparition of all, a black cat prowling the substructures maze of narrow passageways and cubicles.
Link to the US Capitol. Here you will find information about a guided tour of the famous building.
US Capitol, Visitors Center:
The building of the underground Visitors Center has been a costly and controversial project, described as an underground city providing over a half-million square feet of space for exhibits, restaurants and meeting halls.
Mal´akh enters the Capitol building through the security checkpoint in the underground Visitors Center and the escalators.
Robert Langdon also enters through here and is surprised as he had been a little scared of going through the underground facilities. Langdon would have wished to take af full hour in the center to admire the architecture. He continues to the Statuary Hall.
US Capitol, Statuary Hall:
The chamber in the Capitol building is devoted to sculptures of prominent Americans. It is a large two-story semicircular room placed immediately south of the Rotunda. It was the meeting place for the US House of Representatives from 1807 until 1857 but is now an exhibition space. The hall is built in the shape of an ancient amphitheater. It is in this room that Robert Langdon is supposed to give a lecture, but the hall is empty at the time of appointment, and Robert calls Anthony who tells him that Peter Solomon is in Araf.
US Capitol, Capitol Dome:
The Capitol Dome reaches 288 feet (88 meters) upwards and is constructed between 1855 and 1866. The current dome is the second as the original has been replaced. This happened because the US Congress had grown and required extensions built on to the Capitol building and made the original dome seem too small. The architect of the present dome looked at domes in Paris, Rome, London and St. Petersburg before building the new dome. The Statue of Freedom is placed on top of the Capitol Dome. Robert Langdon finds it ironic that this statue was made by slaves who hoisted each piece of the nineteen-and-a-half foot bronze statue to her perch.
US Capitol, Rotunda:
The Rotunda is placed beneath the Capitol Dome and is surrounded by corridors connecting the House of Representatives and Senate sides of the Capitol. The Rotunda is 96 feet (29 meters) in diameter and the room is so large that the Statue of Liberty can stand comfortably inside it.
It is in the very center of the Rotunda that the right hand of Peter Solomon is found. Mal´akh leaves the Rotunda via the east portico. The shortest route would take him through the east-west corridor. He transforms into a blond tourist and studies the mosaic ceiling outside the House chamber.
US Capitol, crypt:
The crypt is a large circular room just beneath the Rotunda. It was planned that Washington´s tomb should be placed in the crypt, but due to delays, war and fire, the crypt never became a tomb. According to Robert Langdon the Rotunda was designed as a tribute to one of Rome´s most venerated mystical shrines, The Temple of Vesta. It was circular with a gaping hole in the floor, through which the sacred fire of enlightenment could be tended by a sisterhood of virgins. Robert Langdon points out the circle of iron nubs from the railing that kept people from falling into the crypt. In the book the crypt is described having low ceiling and several statues and a model of the Capitol on display. But today the crypt serves as a museum and the location of a gift shop.
US Capitol, tunnel beneath Independence Avenue to Library of Congress:
In the book Bellamy leads Robert Langdon through a not yet finished tunnel beneath Independence Avenue to Library of Congress. The tunnel is real and was finished winter 2005 and it is now possible to walk through the tunnel.
Library of Congress, reading room:
The Library of Congress is the oldest federal cultural institution in the US and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world with millions of books, recordings, maps etc. in its collections.
Library of Congress, stacks:
Most of the Library's collections are housed in closed stack areas within the three Library buildings on Capitol Hill. Researchers do not have direct access to the closed stack areas of the collections and must submit requests for materials from those areas. In order to identify what is desired and what the Library has, patrons consult the Library's online and card catalogs, reference sources, and reference librarians. Once materials are identified, researchers submit online or manual request slips. Requested materials that are available are then delivered to requesters at desks in the various reading rooms or are kept in holding areas for later pickup. Delivery times vary from one reading room to another, and retrieval of materials may frequently take as long as 60 to 90 minutes. For materials stored at a location other than one of the Capitol Hill buildings, delivery times can stretch to 24 hours or more.
Katherine Solomon and Robert Langdon are followed to the stacks by Warren Bellamy when they are being hunted by the CIA. Katherine and Robert lie down on the belt of the conveyor which transport books under 2nd Street to the Adams Building. Warren Bellamy goes into the stacks to attract attention from the CIA, so that Katherine and Robert can get the pyramid and the cap stone out of the Library.
Library of Congress, the Adams building:
The Adams Building is one of the three library buildings in Library of Congress. The building was originally built simply as an annex to the Library's Main Building, and is located on Second Street SE between Independence Avenue and East Capitol Street.
When Robert and Katherine gets off the conveyor they are at the Adams Building in Circulation Room 3.
Link to Library of Congress. Information about visits to the library.
Dorchester Arms: Location of Peter Solomons penthouse apartment at Washington Harbor.
Independence Avenue: Mal´akh drives east via Independence Avenue when he leaves the US Capitol to go to the Smithsonian Museum Support Center to meet with Katherine. He crosses the Anacostia River and drives into Maryland.
Kalorama Heights: Home of Mal´akh.
Embassy Row: House of Colin Galloway who, through a young man, is asked to help Warren Bellamy.
USBG: Inscription on an electronic fob in Warren Bellamy`s key ring. Sato sees the four letters and knows right away that they mean United States Botanical Garden.
United States Botanical Garden: Warren Bellamy is brought to the Botanical Garden and placed on a bench in The Jungle, the centerpiece of the United States Botanical Garden, located adjacent to the US Capitol Building. It is technically a rain forest, complete with soaring rubber trees, strangler figs and a canopy catwalk for the daring tourists.
Folger Shakespeare Library:
When Katherine and Robert get out of the Adams Building they hide behind a u-shaped building, the Folger Shakespeare Library, before taking a cab to see the friend of Warren Bellamy. The library is an independent research library and has the world´s largest collection of the prints of William Shakespeare.
Freedom Plaza is located at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Thirteenth Street. The surface of inlaid stones show the streets of Washington as they were originally envisioned by Pierre L´Enfant. The plaza is named after Martin Luther King as he wrote much of his "I have a dream" speech at the nearby Willard Hotel. On the square there is a big medallion showing the Great Seal of the USA.
Katherine and Robert ask the cab driver, Omar, to go to Freedom Plaza, just to cheat their followers. They really wanted to get to a metro station with several lines and they succeed.
King Street Station:
A station on the Washington DC metro in Alexandria. Katherine and Robert trick the CIA to go here while they instead take a train from Freedom Plaza in another direction.
George Washington Masonic Memorial:
Building atop Shuters Hill in Alexandria, Virginia. Inside the marble foyer sits a massive bronze statue of George Washington in full Masonic regalia, along with the actual trowel he used to lay the cornerstone of the Capitol Building. The Memorial is across King Street Station where CIA agent Simkins thinks Katherine and Robert will arrive.
Washington National Cathedral:
The sixth largest cathedral in the world and the second largest in the USA. It is located at Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues. Katherine and Robert take the train here as the old man calling them says: "There is a refuge in Rome, north of the Tiber, which contains ten stones from Mount Sinai, one from heaven itself, and one with the visage of Luke´s dark father".
The cathedral has ten stones from Mount Sinai near the main altar. They symbolize the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai. One of the stained-glass windows is called the Space Window because it has a fragment of moon rock embedded in it. Luke´s dark father, Darth Vader, is one of the more grotesque statues which came out of a contest for kids to carve a gargoyle that depicted the face of evil. Darth Vader won the contest.
Link to Washington National Cathedrals website.
Washington National Cathedral, the Garth:
The cathedral garth is a cloistered, pentagonal garden with a bronze postmodern fountain located in a massive walled-in courtyard. Katherine and Robert escapes into the Garth after their visit at the cathedral.
Katherine and Robert crosses the lawn and uses Galloway´s key to gain access to the Cathedral College which is an elegant, castlelike edifice located adjacent to the National Cathedral. Katherine wants to find a kitchen so that she can heat up the stone pyramid.
As Katherine and Robert heats up the transformed capstone, an incandescent message glows: Eight Franklin Square. They belive it has something to do with an address, and CIA hurries to the address to catch Mal´akh. Franklin Square is located in the northwest quadrant of downtown Washington. CIA´s helicopter performs a touch-hover on the roof of the tallest building, One Franklin Square, a towering and prestigious office building with two gold spires on top.
Almas Shrine Temple:
Situated on Franklin Square and the headquarters of a mystical order called the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. The CIA believes that this is the address that Mal´akh has been looking for.
Place near the House of the Temple where Sato decides the helicopter should land. Robert Langdon argues with Sato about it being too far away but she insists as she will not risk Mal´akh hearing them coming.
Peter Solomon takes Robert Langdon to the top of the monument to show him the words Laus Deo which can be found on the Order Eight Franklin Square´s third row on each side of the top of the pyramid. Laus Deo meaning Praise God. The place of the lost Word, meaning the Bible, which is buried in the corner stone of the monument on July 4th, 1848, in a full Masonic ritual. The capstone of the Washington Monument weighs precisely thirty-three hundred pounds. The Washington Monument is placed in the middle of a circumpunct, directly south of the House of the Temple as shown on the Order Eight Franklin Square.
Link to Washington Monument which is possible to visit for free.
CIA Headquarter, Langley;
Rick Parrish and Nola Kaye work here, and Rick takes Nola to the sculpture, Kryptos, to show her the codes.
4210, Silver Hill Road: Smithsonian Museum Support Center (SMSC):
The place where Katherine Solomon, Trish Dunne and Kyle work. The Smithsonian Museum Support Center was established in 1983 and is the principal off site conservation and collections facility for multiple Smithsonian museums, primarily the National Museum of National History. 98% of all items are stored here, while only 2% are on display at museums. The center covers 4.5 acres of land, with over 500,000 square feet of space. It has over 12 miles of cabinets, and more than 31 million objects. The center has 5 massive storage pods. A corridor runs like a spine through the center and connects the 5 pods. The corridor is called The Street.
357, Kingston Drive: Home of Mark Zoubianis.
Suitland Parkway, Anacostia: Gas station from where Katherine calls for help.
Potomac : Location of estate, owned by Peter Solomon.
Upper West Side:
Andros, aka Mal´akh, has an apartment at the Upper West Side with breathtaking views of Central Park. He lives here after having killed Peter Solomon´s mother. While he recovers he reads about tattoos and he discovers the writings of Aleister Crowley. He makes sacrifices trapping rats and squirrels, bringing them home to perform rituals. He also reads John Milton´s Lost Paradise in which there is a fallen angel called Moloch. Translated to the ancient tongue Andros becomes Mal´akh.
Posidonia, Syros: An exclusive town on the island of Syros, greece. The home of Andros Dareios, aka Mal´akh after he has stolen the money from Zachary Solomon and changed his name. One night when he surfs the TV channels, he stumbles across a program about the secrets of Freemasonry and the Masonic Pyramid.
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