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Monday, December 25, 2023

Capitol building in Washington - Famous landmarks in usa

  Rajesh Kumar Rana       Monday, December 25, 2023


Capitol building in Washington - Famous landmarks in usa

Capitol building in Washington

One of the main attractions of the Capital of the United States is the Capitol. This building, made of white marble, is known to everyone from a photo.

On the city map, it is located on Capitol Hill among other institutions of state importance (the residences of the Supreme Court and the US Library of Congress).

Not far from the Capitol are the famous monuments to Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Capitol (Washington) - what is it and what is its significance for Americans?

How do I find cheap accommodation near United States capitol?

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Capitol building in Washington - Famous landmarks in usa

Capitol building in Washington - Famous landmarks in usa

Building construction

The author of the idea of ​​constructing the building, which will host the meetings of the Congress, is George Washington. It was he who laid the first stone in the foundation of the house. This event took place on September 18, 1793. It is difficult to name the architect of the building, because the architects changed periodically, but each of them brought something of their own to the project, however, in general, the building is made in the Empire style. The construction of the Capitol was not completed at the time when the Congress was assembled in it, it happened in 1800.

England did not welcome the independence of the states and in 1814 British troops burned down the Capitol. The restoration work took five years, however, the construction was not completed within this period. In the period from 1820 to 1827, a passage was built connecting the two wings of the building (north and south), and a monumental dome was installed above it, symbolizing the unity of the country. After another three decades, it was decided to expand the Capitol, as it became small.

Big overhaul

Since it was decided to increase the premises for the meetings of the Congress, the question arose about transforming its design. Columns and luxurious Empire decor were still present in the project, but other elements also appeared. For example, the column capitals were decorated with corn cobs and tobacco leaves instead of Mediterranean laurel branches.

The previous dome was replaced with a new one made of cast iron, its height was 87 meters. The walls of the building were reinforced in the expectation that a load of about 4 thousand tons (the weight of the dome) fell on them. The Capitol building resembles St. Paul's Cathedral in Rome, although it is believed that there is some resemblance to Les Invalides in Paris.


During the 20th century, there was a small reconstruction of the Capitol (Washington), which did not involve architectural modernization. The building now has central heating, which was not there before, and elevator shafts were made. In the middle of the century it was decided to enlarge the building and in 1960 the eastern fa├žade was increased by 10 meters in length. The result of all the transformations was the beautiful Congress building, made of snow-white marble.

I must say that the inside of the building is no less beautiful than the outside. In 1865, the first fresco in America appeared on the dome, the author of which was the artist Konstantin Brumudi. It depicts George Washington surrounded by the gods of Olympus. The artist painted both the dome itself and the Column Hall. Frescoes and friezes convey the history of the country over a two-century period.

The merit of the architects lies in the fact that the Washington Capitol harmoniously fits into the building of the city. The dome and the famous Rotunda (a circular room located inside the building directly under the dome) can be seen from any point on it. Under the Rotunda, in the basement, the crypt of George Washington is located, however, the burial itself is not in it. The crypt is a museum of history artifacts.

All of the city's main streets lead towards the Capitol, symbolizing the importance of this place.

Around the magnificent building is not being developed, it is surrounded by a beautiful park, the area of ​​which is about 55 hectares of land, with picturesque lawns. On its territory there is a botanical garden - one of the oldest in the country, in which there are over 100 species of trees and thousands of species of various plants.


The National Mall has been created between the Congress Building and the Lincoln and Washington Monuments. Its length is 1,800 meters. The nearby buildings that house the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress are of great importance to American citizens. Previously, they were located in the Capitol building, and since 1935, court sessions have been held in a new building.

Tours to the Capitol

The famous building is visited by several million tourists every year. Today, the Capitol has 540 rooms, but only two are available for tourists, which can be visited as part of an excursion. These visits are completely free, you just need to show your passport at the ticket office and get a ticket with a number.

Visiting the Capitol is possible daily, except on Sundays. Note that the Capitol is closed on Thanksgiving, New Years, Christmas, Inauguration and Independence Day.

The first two floors are the usual office space, above which is the House of Representatives in the south wing and the Senate in the north wing. Loggias for visitors have been erected above them, since all government meetings are not hidden from US citizens. This is the principle of democracy. Tourists go up to the upper floor using an elevator. The observation deck offers a majestic view of the city.

The Statue of Liberty, which is 6 meters high, is installed on top of the Capitol dome and can be seen in detail through binoculars. The statue is made in the form of a figure of a woman standing on a pedestal in the shape of a globe, which is surrounded by the motto E Pluribus Unum, which translates as “one of many”. The 16th American President, Abraham Lincoln, was present at its opening. Its peculiarity is that there is a fringe on the mantle, thus symbolizing respect for the indigenous people of North America.

Cheap flights to Washington


The USA Capitol building is a masterpiece of architecture, but it also has a deep ideological focus. Today, it is a functioning government agency where the most important decisions of the state level are made. Within its walls, meetings of the two main branches of the American government (the Senate and the House of Representatives) are held.

You can find out about the holding of the Congress by the flags placed around the building. Raised flags will announce the session. Only two US flags have always flown on flagpoles placed at the entrance to a building since the First World War. This unshakable rule will always apply as long as there is a great state.

Storming the Capitol

In January 2021, the building was seized by a group of protesters who disagreed with the results of the US elections. The unrest stemmed from statements by the now 45th President of the United States, Trump, that Joe Biden was victorious thanks to irregularities in the 2020 presidential election.

At the rally, Trump urged his supporters to "fight," after which an enthusiastic crowd headed towards the Capitol building. There were clashes with police and media representatives, who were accused by the rioters of broadcasting "fake news".

A curfew was imposed in Washington. Newly elected US President Joe Biden has called on the rioters to back down and clear the way for democracy.

The international community, including Russia, expressed its opinion on the "shocking events", calling for compliance with the election results.

Capitol building in Washington - Famous landmarks in usa


The Capitol is of interest not only among historians, but also among connoisseurs of art and architecture. It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1960. The majestic building is very beautifully illuminated at night, delighting visitors. This is one of the most popular and recognizable places in the United States. 


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