The Tripoli Monument – Annapolis, Maryland - Atlas Obscura

Sitting quietly off to the side at the busy Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland, one of the oldest military monuments in the United States stands strong. Honoring the heroes that fell during the First Barbary War. The monument reflects an early but very important period of American and naval history.

Carved in 1806 in Italy, the statue was brought to the United States as ballast on the USS Constitution.

Originally erected at the Washington Navy Yard in 1808, it was the federal capital’s first monument and for a period of 35 years the only monument in the District of Columbia. It witnessed and weathered the War of 1812; the building, burning, and rebuilding of the capital, and the slow establishment of the city itself.

For 52 years, its existence in a “small circular pond of dirty fresh water-not large enough for a duck puddle-to represent the Mediterranean Sea.” was plagued with uncertainties and agitations.

Dissension and dissatisfaction continued until 1860 when the monument was moved to Annapolis.

Know Before You Go

Just take the tour of the Naval Academy!  They'll take you through the Chapel (as long as it's open. No weddings or funerals) and the Crypt. The Tripoli monument is basically diagonally across the street behind the one building. The Agerholm is then in the next cluster of buildings across the street from The Tripoli Memorial. 

You MUST have an ID to enter the USNA. No parking on site. Must park on the street. The earlier you get there the better.

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