The Capitol (Washington DC)

The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall. Officially, both the east and west sides of the Capitol are referred to as "fronts". Historically, however, only the east front of the building was intended for the arrival of visitors and dignitaries. Like the federal buildings for the executive and judicial branches, it is built in the distinctive neoclassical style and has a white exterior.

The Capitol building is marked by its central dome above a rotunda and two wings, one for each chamber of Congress: the north wing is the Senate chamber and the south wing is the House of Representatives chamber. Above these chambers are galleries where visitors can watch the Senate and House of Representatives. It is an example of the neoclassical architecture style. The statue on top of the dome is the Statue of Freedom.

Underground tunnels and a private subway connect the main Capitol building with each of the Congressional office buildings in the surrounding complex. All rooms in the Capitol are designated as either S (for Senate) or H (for House), depending on whether they are north (Senate) or south (House) of the Rotunda. Additionally, all addresses in Washington, D.C. are designated NE, NW, SE, or SW, in relation to the Rotunda.

The Capitol Grounds cover approximately 274 acres (1.11 kmĀ²), with the grounds proper consisting mostly of lawns, walkways, streets, drives, and planting areas. Formerly, a number of monumental sculptures were located on the east facade and lawn of the Capitol including The Rescue and George Washington. The current grounds were designed by noted American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who planned the expansion and landscaping performed from 1874 to 1892. In 1875, as one of his first recommendations, Olmsted proposed the construction of the marble terraces on the north, west, and south sides of the building that exist today.

 

Top tourist attractions:

United States - Washington DC

The Capitol
Jefferson Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
National Air and Space Museum
Washington Monument
The White House
National Museum of Natural History

National Archives
National Gallery of Art
National Museum of the American Indian
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
National World War II Memorial
The Supreme Court of the United States
Vietnam Veterans Memorial

 

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