Joan of Arc Equestrian Statue - Atlas Obscura

Joan of Arc Equestrian Statue

The only female equestrian statue in Washington, D.C. is a 15th-century French heroine. 


Walking or driving around Washington, D.C., you will find many statues of historical figures proudly perched atop their noble steeds. Despite their numbers, you’ll only find one woman among their ranks: Joan of Arc.

The Christian saint and heroine of the Hundred Years’ War between medieval England and France, who was brutally burned at the stake for heresy as a teenager, might be an unlikely figure to find in the United States’ capital city, but she has become of fixture for Washingtonians for more than a century. Erected in 1922, the statue of Joan is a copy of the original statue at the Reims Cathedral. The casting of the monument was supervised by the Ministre des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

The statue sits on a stone base on the elevated, north portion of Malcolm X Park (also known as Meridian Hill Park) in the northwest quarter of D.C. Joan was a gift from the Society of French Women in Exile in New York.

During the 100-plus years that she has been watching over the D.C. skyline, Joan has lost and regained her sword, donned funny hats, and played host to the park’s weekly drum circle sessions.

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