United States Capitol and Capitol Hill

The United States Capitol is known around the world as a symbol of the United States. The Capitol serves as the home for both the House of Representatives and The Senate. The enormous dome was modeled after the Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, towers over all other buildings in Washington.

The center portion of the edifice was constructed between 1793 and 1812 and has expanded in size since then. The most recent addition, completed between 1958 and 1962, increased the size of the main façade, where presidents take the oath of office. On the other side of the building, a marble terrace provides stunning views of the mall and the surrounding area.

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This magnificent structure’s interior is richly decorated with frescoes, reliefs, and paintings, particularly in the rotunda beneath the vast cast-iron dome, which features a ceiling painting by Constantino Brumidi and massive murals depicting moments from American history on its walls. The former Chamber of the House of Representatives, which stands adjacent to it, is decorated with statues of prominent historical people. The Old Senate Chamber, which was home to the Senate until 1859 and the Supreme Court until 1935, is reached by the tiny Senate Rotunda and has been tastefully renovated.

When free tours are reinstated, they can be scheduled online and begin at the tourist center on the lower floor, where there is a display of the history of the building. Free tours are offered on weekday afternoons for you to learn about the ornate murals that decorate the walls and ceilings of the Senate wing’s corridors, designed by Brumidi between 1857 and 1859. If you want to visit the Senate or the House of Representatives while they are in session, you must first contact your Senator or Representative to obtain a pass; overseas visitors can make arrangements through the visitor center.

From the Capitol to the Library of Congress, which is one of Washington’s lesser-known tourist attractions, is connected via a subterranean passage with historical displays. It is the world’s largest library and was designed in the style of the Paris Opera House. You may explore parts of the building on your own, but free tours reveal even more of its breathtaking interior.

One of only three complete Gutenberg Bibles still in existence, as well as an earlier hand-printed Bible, Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson’s library, and galleries filled with exhibits focusing on topics as diverse as the musical careers of the Gershwin brothers and the work of editorial cartoonists and graphic artists, are all on display.

Other Nearby Attractions

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The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum in Washington, D.C. is operated by the Smithsonian Institution and located on the National Mall. It is open 364 days a year and is open to the public for no charge. In 2016, it was the eighth-most visited museum in the world, and the most visited natural history museum in the world, attracting 7.1 million people. Read More

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