United States Capitol Building
The most recognized symbol of democratic government in the the world,
the United States Capitol has housed congress since 1800 The United States
Capitol is where congress meets to write the laws nad where presidents
are inaugurated and deliver their annual State of the Union messages.
Although not in the geographic center of the District of Columbia, the Capitol
is the focus by which the quadrants of the district are divided. Curiously,
the west face, which is often taken to be the "front" of the building,
is actually its "back"; the true front is the east face. The building
is marked by its central dome above a rotunda and two wings, one for each
chamber of Congress: the north wing (on the left) is the Senate chamber and
the south wing (on the right) is the House of Representatives chamber.
Prior to 1800, at least eight other buildings and eight other cities have hosted
Congress. Since the ratification of the United States Constitution, Congress
has only met in two other buildings. The capital was first located in New York,
with Congress meeting in City Hall from 1785 to 1790. Philadelphia served as
the Capital from 1790 to 1800. During that time, Congress met at the
Philadelphia County Building.
Tours are available daily and the tours first stop is the Capitol Rotunda.
In the Rotunda, at the top of the dome is the painting "The Apotheosis of Washington"
The painting depicts George Washington surrounded by symbols of American democracy and
Around the the rotunda is a frieze, which illustrates major events in the nations history
The next room on the tour is the Old Hall of the House of Representatives, which now
serves as the National Statuary Hall.
The last stop on the tour is the Old Supreme Court chambers. This is where the supreme court
met from 1800 to 1935 when they moved across the street to their current location.
When you leave the Capitol building at the end of the tour, be sure and take in the
view of the mall
For more information see links below
Capitol Home Page
U.S. Senate Home Page
U.S. House Home Page
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