The pedestal and equestrian Washington are in the center a platform reached from four sides by 13 steps (13 original states). At the four corners of the platform are fountains, representing four rivers - the Hudson, Delaware, Potomac, and Mississippi. The rivers are guarded by American animals and served by allegorical figures of Native Americans set amidst native flora and fauna.
To my mind, these fountains with their symbolic river figures and guardians are the most interesting and accessible aspects of the Washington Monument. A sampling ...